Which of the following is the worst?


Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign event for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in New Orleans last year. (Gerald Herbert/Associated Press)

• “Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record,” the New York Times reports. “Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.” Even ex-Obama adviser Robert Gibbs piled on, saying this was “highly unusual.” Jeb Bush tweeted, “Transparency matters. Unclassified emails should be released. You can see mine, here. .”

• Clinton’s foundation sought and received money from Arab oil kingdoms, some of the worst abusers of women on the planet. This continued even while she was in office. And now the State Department confesses it did not really review these donations.

• Clinton refuses to say whether she agrees with President Obama’s notion that Iran should keep thousands of centrifuges and after 10 years be free from inspections and sanctions, even though last night he essentially conceded (and his national security adviser Susan Rice confirmed at an AIPAC conference) that he has given up trying to dismantle Iran’s illicit nuclear program and instead will let Iran keep what it wants and be free of sanctions and inspections in as little as 10 years.

Well, all these things are horrible, but then we knew (Nos. 1 and 2) that Bill and Hillary Clinton’s ethical compass has been broken for years and that they consider laws and transparency to be for the little people. I would argue, however, that it is the third that is really the worst if Hillary Clinton intends, as everyone is certain she does, to run for president. This is, of course, the most important national security issue of our time, and if she has neither the courage nor conviction to tell us what she thinks, she arguably shouldn’t be running for the job as commander in chief.

Needless to say, the political media are focused on the e-mails and not the nukes, but then foreign policy is only superficially considered and dimly understood. Whatever the emphasis, however, it is hard to escape the flashing red lights in front of party regulars and activists: Do you really need Clinton so badly that you would crown her now as the nominee? Wouldn’t it be better to have someone with no responsibility for the most egregious foreign policy disaster of our time (i.e. allowing Iran to gain a nuclear weapons capability)?

It is unfathomable why Democrats feel as though they have no choice. Surely, there are fans of Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others who would recognize that the Democratic Party badly needs not merely a sparring partner in the primaries but an alternative to Clinton who is not perceived as personally corrupt or secretive and is not burdened by an increasingly problematic Obama foreign policy record. Surely, even a candidate who will have to work harder to raise money and create name identification but who is capable and not burdened by scandal would be preferable to a 67-year old woman of immense wealth, low ethical standards and nonexistent candor. Or perhaps the Democratic Party is so devoid of talent that it simply has no choice but to take Clinton with all her obvious and serious defects.