Because I am unable to take Bill or Hillary Clinton for an entire hour, even with commercial interruptions, I taped Mrs. Clinton's January interview on MEET THE PRESS. I wanted to see if host Tim Russert was going to be as easy on her as he was during his 20 or so minute interview last year during his meet the candidates segments. The overrated Mr. Russert did not disappoint. Twenty eight minutes into the "interview" I was compelled to stop. I'm not sure if it was Clinton's penchant for filibustering that caused me to gag or that Russert was letting her. Clinton's repeated diatribes generally strayed, long windedly, into areas having nothing to do with the question. And each time Russert tried to get her to a point, she went on with a refusal to be interrogated. It was at that point I had to stop and take a 48 hour break before viewing the second half.
After the grilling Tim Russert gave GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani on ethics, I was convinced that the occasionally reliable Mr. Russert would broach the subject as forcefully with Sen. Clinton. He did not! When asked about Marc Rich's pardon and the familial group association seeking pardons from her husband, the Senator replied, " I didn't know anything about that." Both times her facial expressions belied her answers.
She bases her claims of experience on the fact that her husband discussed important issues with her to get her input, yet she asserts being totally in the dark about the failures and scandals of the administration. Russert's attempt to get her to recant her charge of a "vast right wing conspiracy" in the Lewinsky perjury scandal merely brought forth Mrs. Clinton's now infamous cackle. Russert never bothered to proffer that her husband copped to the charges after leaving office, that Bill paid off Paula Jones, that her husbands attorney, Bill Bennett, had to inform a federal judge that President Clinton's sworn deposition would be recanted, and that the subsequent actions of her husband proves false her claim that he was impeached over a "private, personal matter" as she promoted in her book.
There were no questions from Russert about the Travel Office firings - who paid her losses in the year long cattle futures bonanza - why would Craig Livingstone's mother tell her friends that Mrs. Clinton got her son the job as head of White House security if it were not true - why would a career White House officer state that he saw Maggie Williams, Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff, exit the late Vince Foster's office with files if that were not true?
Sen. Clinton continues to claim that her vote on the Iraq War resolution was for inspectors, not the use of force. After beating around the bush (no pun intended) about her vote, it never occurred to Russert to remind her that Saddam Hussein controlled the weapons inspectors during both Clinton administrations and kicked them out of Iraq when he tired of them.
Her claims of having been fully vetted also ring hollow. That she has withstood the "Republican attack machine" and only she can defeat the GOP in November are the rantings of a candidate yet to answer the really tough questions from the media that she accuses of her opponent.