The Hillary Clinton e-mail episode is indeed the perfect metaphor for her 20-plus years in politics. The denial. The indignant news conference. The lame spinners. The absence of restrictions. The sense of entitlement. And it keeps getting better (for Republicans).

First, the State Department was forced to confirm what we all suspected. At the daily briefing, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed, “We have reviewed Secretary Clinton’s official personnel file and administrative files and do not have any record of her signing [the required exit form].” Psaki said she would look into how uniformly the exit document was used. But the bottom line, unlike thousands of other employees, Clinton was able to avoid representing under oath that she had no official documents in her possession.

The White House put some noteworthy distance between the president and vice president and the former secretary. “[Josh] Earnest said that President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would sign such a separation agreement at the end of their tenures. . . .Psaki said Tuesday that Clinton’s predecessors, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, also did not sign such a statement.” But then Clinton has been the only secretary to operate solely from her own e-mail system.

Hillary Clinton has a growing team of strategists and advisers who are already building her all but certain presidential bid — but they have been and will be working strictly as unpaid volunteers until the campaign’s formal launch.
An undisclosed number of future staffers, including those in line to serve as top aides, have worked for free ahead of an expected spring announcement.
Those future staffers, and subsequent hires, will be paid for work rendered after the formation of a campaign entity, sources close to Clinton confirmed. (The Federal Election Commission also gives potential candidates who decide to run a 15-day window before they must declare. Staff could be paid for that period.)

In other political organizations, staffers get paid through a pre-campaign PAC. But for all the talk of the little people, Clinton is content to let them work for free while she gallivants around the country still getting six-figures for paid speeches. You’d think, you know, she would consider paying them out of her own pocket for a while.

There is plenty of debate each time we go through one of these episodes whether laws were actually broken. But that is hardly the point, nor should it be the standard for presidential candidates. The crocodile tears shed by the left over transparency, foreign money and the entitled 1 percent never lead to the conclusion Clinton is unfit for office. You see, it never matters what she actually does; it is who she is that matters. Oddly, Republicans feel much the same way, namely that her essential personality and character are the overwhelming issue, although they reach a different conclusion about whether that is a plus. One of the distinct benefits, however, the GOP will have in 2016 will be that to a large extent the race will be a referendum on Clinton. Right now, that sounds rather appealing for Republicans.