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Wed Jan 31, 2018, 12:54 AM

Hillary gives a more detailed answer

The most important work of my life has been to support and empower women. Iíve tried to do so here at home, around the world, and in the organizations Iíve run. I started in my twenties, and four decades later Iím nowhere near being done. Iím proud that itís the work Iím most associated with, and it remains what Iím most dedicated to.
So I very much understand the question Iím being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behavior.
The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldnít.
Before giving some of the reasons why I made a different choice back then and why looking back I wish Iíd done it differently, hereís what happened and what my thinking was at the time.
In 2007, a woman working on my campaign came forward with a complaint about her supervisor behaving inappropriately toward her. She and her complaint were taken seriously. Senior campaign staff and legal counsel spoke to both her and the offender. They determined that he had in fact engaged in inappropriate behavior. My then-campaign manager presented me with her findings. She recommended that he be fired. I asked for steps that could be taken short of termination. In the end, I decided to demote him, docking his pay; separate him from the woman; assign her to work directly for my then-deputy-campaign manager; put in place technical barriers to his emailing her; and require that he seek counseling. He would also be warned that any subsequent harassment of any kind toward anyone would result in immediate termination.
I did this because I didnít think firing him was the best solution to the problem. He needed to be punished, change his behavior, and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe. I thought both could happen without him losing his job. I believed the punishment was severe and the message to him unambiguous.
I also believe in second chances. Iíve been given second chances and I have given them to others. I want to continue to believe in them. But sometimes theyíre squandered. In this case, while there were no further complaints against him for the duration of the campaign, several years after working for me he was terminated from another job for inappropriate behavior. That reoccurrence troubles me greatly, and it alone makes clear that the lesson I hoped he had learned while working for me went unheeded. Would he have done better Ė been better Ė if I had fired him? Would he have gotten that next job? There is no way I can go back 10 years and know the answers. But you can bet Iím asking myself these questions right now.
Over the years, I have made, directly and indirectly, thousands of personnel decisions Ė everything from hiring to promoting to disciplining to firing. Most of these decisions worked out well. But Iíve gotten some wrong: Iíve hired the wrong people for the wrong jobs; Iíve come down on people too hard at times. Through it all, Iíve always taken firing very seriously. Taking away someoneís livelihood is perhaps the most serious thing an employer can do. When faced with a situation like this, if I think itís possible to avoid termination while still doing right by everyone involved, I am inclined in that direction. I do not put this forward as a virtue or a vice Ė just as a fact about how I view these matters.
When The New York Times reported on this incident last week, my first thought was for the young woman involved. So I reached out to her Ė most importantly, to see how she was doing, but also to help me reflect on my decision and its consequences. Itís never easy when something painful or personal like this surfaces, much less when it appears all over the news. I called her not knowing what Iíd hear. Whatever she had to say, I wanted her to be able to say it, and say it to me.
She expressed appreciation that she worked on a campaign where she knew she could come forward without fear. She was glad that her accusations were taken seriously, that there was a clear process in place for dealing with harassment, and that it was followed. Most importantly, she told me that for the remainder of the campaign, she flourished in her new role. We talked about her career, policy issues related to the work sheís doing now, and her commitment to public service. I told her how grateful I was to her for working on my campaign and believing in me as a candidate. Sheís read every word of this and has given me permission to share it.
It was reassuring to hear that she felt supported back then Ė and that all these years later, those feelings havenít changed. That again left me glad that my campaign had in place a comprehensive process for dealing with complaints. The fact that the woman involved felt heard and supported reinforced my belief that the process worked Ė at least to a degree. At the time, I believed the punishment I imposed was severe and fit the offense. Indeed, while we are revisiting whether my decision from a decade ago was harsh enough, many employers would be well served to take actions at least as severe when confronted with problems now Ė including the very media outlet that broke this story. They recently opted to suspend and reinstate one of their journalists who exhibited similarly inappropriate behavior, rather than terminate him. A decade from now, that decision may not look as tough as it feels today. The norms around sexual harassment will likely have continued to change as swiftly and significantly in the years to come as they have over the years until now.
Over the past year, a seismic shift has occurred in the way we approach and respond to sexual harassment, both as a society and as individuals. This shift was long overdue. It occurred thanks to women across industries who stood up and spoke out, from Hollywood to sports to farm workers Ė to the very woman who worked for me.
For most of my life, harassment wasnít something talked about or even acknowledged. More women than not experience it to some degree in their life, and until recently, the response was often to laugh it off or tough it out. Thatís changing, and thatís a good thing. My own decision to write in my memoir about my experiences being sexually harassed and physically threatened early in my career Ė the first time was in college Ė was more agonizing than it should have been. I know that Iím one of the lucky ones, and what happened to me seemed so commonplace that I wondered if it was even worth sharing. But in the end, thatís exactly why I chose to write about it: because I donít want this behavior or these attitudes to be accepted as ďnormalĒ for any woman, especially those just starting out in their lives.
No woman should have to endure harassment or assault Ė at work, at school, or anywhere. And men are now on notice that they will truly be held accountable for their actions. Especially now, we all need to be thinking about the complexities of sexual harassment, and be willing to challenge ourselves to reassess and question our own views.
In other words, everyoneís now on their second chance, both the offenders and the decision-makers. Letís do our best to make the most of it.
We canít go back, but we can certainly look back, informed by the present. We can acknowledge that even those of us who have spent much of our life thinking about gender issues and who have firsthand experiences of navigating a male-dominated industry or career may not always get it right.
I recognize that the situation on my 2008 campaign was unusual in that a woman complained to a woman who brought the issue to a woman who was the ultimate decision maker. There was no man in the chain of command. The boss was a woman. Does a woman have a responsibility to come down even harder on the perpetrator? I donít know. But I do believe that a woman boss has an extra responsibility to look out for the women who work for her, and to better understand how issues like these can affect them.
I was inspired by my conversation with this young woman to express my own thinking on the matter. You may question why itís taken me time to speak on this at length. The answer is simple: Iíve been grappling with this and thinking about how best to share my thoughts. I hope that my doing so will push others to keep having this conversation Ė to ask and try to answer the hard questions, not just in the abstract but in the real-life contexts of our roles as men, women, bosses, employees, advocates, and public officials. I hope that women will continue to talk and write about their own experiences and that they will continue leading this critical debate, which, done right, will lead to a better, fairer, safer country for us all.

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hillary gives a more detailed answer (Original post)
videohead5 Jan 2018 OP
Mister Ed Jan 2018 #1
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2018 #2
Mister Ed Jan 2018 #17
Hortensis Jan 2018 #22
Skittles Jan 2018 #3
betsuni Jan 2018 #8
JI7 Jan 2018 #12
Skittles Jan 2018 #13
Kingofalldems Jan 2018 #33
R B Garr Jan 2018 #25
zipplewrath Jan 2018 #29
R B Garr Jan 2018 #35
zipplewrath Jan 2018 #37
pandr32 Jan 2018 #30
R B Garr Jan 2018 #26
FSogol Jan 2018 #27
oasis Jan 2018 #4
triron Jan 2018 #5
oasis Jan 2018 #10
StevieM Jan 2018 #18
mythology Jan 2018 #36
spooky3 Jan 2018 #6
betsuni Jan 2018 #7
Cha Jan 2018 #11
Cha Jan 2018 #9
videohead5 Jan 2018 #23
Cha Jan 2018 #32
DURHAM D Jan 2018 #24
Cha Jan 2018 #34
lunamagica Jan 2018 #14
loyalsister Jan 2018 #15
rogue emissary Jan 2018 #16
StevieM Jan 2018 #19
Cha Jan 2018 #21
-Steph- Jan 2018 #20
R B Garr Jan 2018 #28
GaryCnf Jan 2018 #31

Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:09 AM

1. People, please read these words of wisdom and compassion.

This is the woman who could have been your president.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:12 AM

2. What's the source for this? I'd like to read the original

because it's really hard to read a big chunk of unbroken text.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 03:53 AM

17. Thanks, that's an important question. Evidently it's from Hillary Clinton's Facebook page.

DU'er Bleacher Creature has posted this link in another OP on the topic:

https://www.facebook.com/hillaryclinton/posts/1811310308925490

I'm not very knowledgeable about Facebook, and I've stubbornly refused to open a Facebook account. I think this is the authentic HRC page, though, with the blue checkmark to verify.

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Response to Mister Ed (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 05:21 AM

22. Thanks. I am relieved to see she really did present in paragraphs!

Not surprised, but that's kind of a basic competence. This is all what I expected to be the case. Her religion calls for forgiveness and second chances, but she's no fool. His repetition of these behaviors years later in another job showed that a second chance benefited no one, perhaps not even him.

"I also believe in second chances. Iíve been given second chances and I have given them to others. I want to continue to believe in them. But sometimes theyíre squandered. In this case, while there were no further complaints against him for the duration of the campaign, several years after working for me he was terminated from another job for inappropriate behavior.

That reoccurrence troubles me greatly, and it alone makes clear that the lesson I hoped he had learned while working for me went unheeded. Would he have done better Ė been better Ė if I had fired him? Would he have gotten that next job? There is no way I can go back 10 years and know the answers. But you can bet Iím asking myself these questions right now."


"I called her not knowing what Iíd hear. Whatever she had to say, I wanted her to be able to say it, and say it to me. She expressed appreciation that she worked on a campaign where she knew she could come forward without fear. She was glad that her accusations were taken seriously, that there was a clear process in place for dealing with harassment, and that it was followed. Most importantly, she told me that for the remainder of the campaign, she flourished in her new role.

We talked about her career, policy issues related to the work sheís doing now, and her commitment to public service. I told her how grateful I was to her for working on my campaign and believing in me as a candidate.

Sheís read every word of this and has given me permission to share it."


All as expected.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:12 AM

3. FUCK the people who fell for that bullshit "scandal"

they make me SICK

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:36 AM

8. +1

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 02:05 AM

12. they didn't fall for it, they were purposely pushing it

as an attack. just like benghazi and other crap.

if they actually cared about the issue they would talk about it and other cases of it. much worse cases. and what to do about it.

instead the focus is all on how this shows how horrible she is.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 02:07 AM

13. I saw it here on DU

fucking DISGUSTING

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Response to Skittles (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 02:47 PM

33. Yep.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 12:23 PM

25. EXACTLY THIS. It was just another disgusting pile-on and complete distortion

all to malign Hillary. Totally right -- if harassment was the issue, then it would have involved a more honest and comprehensive discussion other than trying to dismiss Hillary over two brief sentences in an article -- an article which placed those two brief sentences close to an observation about Weinstein "luring" women. GMAFB! Truly disgusting.

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Response to R B Garr (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:02 PM

29. An allusion to Franken

Some of what you're seeing is an allusion to the Franken Treatment. Some people get to keep their jobs, others get "fired".

I actually understand much of what she wrote. I am not unfamiliar with these situations. And a bit like Ms. Clinton, one is loath to fire someone. I think what our current/modern understanding of this kind if harassment is that it should probably be dealt with in a very similar manner as work place violence and hostility.

When I was union labor, there weren't many things for which I could be immediately fired. The list was actually very short. Violation of safety procedures (it endangers other workers). Violence (you couldn't punch anyone, anywhere, anytime) and even threats of same.. And theft (mostly of major product or tools). Otherwise you could be incompetent as all get out, and you could fail to show up to work and everything had some number of times or number of chances to "improve".

I think maybe we are getting to a place where harassment needs to begun to be treated more like violence. We may need some strict definitions of harassment, but if you've known anyone who has been harassed, the effect is dramatic. They'd react less strongly to being struck or threatened. Here, we have a fairly strict policy. If you are a supervisor, you'll be gone. If you are a co-worker, you may get a transfer to another position, but your annual review is gonna suck for a long time. If you are a subcontractor or vendor, your employer is going to get a letter that you are never to visit, or otherwise contact the entire company again. Those people often don't last long at their employers.

I am beginning to come to the conclusion that giving folks "second chances" isn't really accomplishing anything. These folks have deep seated issues quite often and mostly their just "laying low" until another opportunity arises. And really, on a campaign, which is a short term gig in the first place, what's the point of shuffling people around anyway. Very shortly most folks are going to have to leave anyway. Better for the vast majority to just send them on their way now. The real question is what do you tell future employers if they call for references?

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 03:36 PM

35. That's what I was thinking also with regard to campaign employment being

temporary and short-lived. Also the time period of ten years ago did favor employee intervention programs. Those are all going away now, obviously moving to the zero tolerance attitudes being adopted all the way around as you described. Of course, that's to the benefit of the employer because it's a reduced benefit so less money for them.

So no more substance abuse rehab. If you don't pass a drug test, you're gone. This affects all kinds of work situations, more to the benefit of corporations.

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Response to R B Garr (Reply #35)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 03:49 PM

37. Danger to others

Not that I don't think that many employers wouldn't like to do away with EAP efforts. We've had some doozy abuses here. But in our case many of our employees have a fair amount of training/experience in them and they are loath to fire them willy nilly. EAP programs give them some cover for both keeping them, and firing them when it doesn't work out. I suspect they'll find some value in them for a while longer. With respect to drug tests, and other "life style" issues (it's against the rules to smoke on property) they'll be balancing between their own liability, and the risk to other employees. DUI is already close to an immediate termination for certain folks. Get one while on travel and you're gone (i.e. driving a car rented by the company, especially with other employees inside). Professional drivers can't get DUI's at all. "illegal" drug use is generally subject to immediate termination, but prescription drug abuse gets you a treatment program (unless it is detected you were abusing them at work).

I think that this sexual harassment thing may get revisited in HR departments all over the country. There's liability here that could get expensive. As we are seeing, it is VERY rare that a harasser has one victim. It may begin to dawn on HR that if you get one report, there's almost assuredly a dozen more you haven't heard. And either way, one rape, and the whole company could come crashing down if you had any knowledge of the situation.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:09 PM

30. The Daily Show's Trevor Noah pushed it as well

I was sickened when I heard it and listened to Noah insist HC should be ashamed of herself and ought to know better.

We had a houseguest visiting and I had just explained to her that HC did not "punish the victim" as many people allege, and instead had moved her into a better job while demoting, fining, and sending into counseling the abuser-employee. Then the Daily Show came on and she just looked at me as though I was a biased fool. Then she told us she doesn't like politics very much.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 12:24 PM

26. Well said.

It was sickening.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 12:27 PM

27. +1 n/t

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:13 AM

4. Hillary's expanded explanation should put the issue to rest. I see

no reason to continue beating this "10 year old" dead horse. True Democrats will now move on to dealing with Trumps dismantling of American democracy.

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Response to oasis (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:22 AM

5. MSM will conveniently ignore it.

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Response to triron (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:37 AM

10. Hillary should brush aside any further questions about the issue.

Her enemies droned on forever about the e-mails nothingburger,and she had to accommodate them because she was running for president.

This is 2018, and Hillary doesn't owe anybody a damn thing.

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Response to triron (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 04:13 AM

18. Yep. Just like they ignored it when her 2016 staff wrote an article talking about how proud they

were to serve on her campaign and how good an experience it was. They said that she was a candidate who inspired and excited them. And they said that they were tired of people who weren't on the campaign telling everyone what it was like for them.

The media simply refused to cover it.

https://medium.com/@jesse_41795/open-letter-from-hillary-for-america-2016-team-f1c545304be1

~snip~

We were shocked to learn the news that Donna Brazile actively considered overturning the will of the Democratic voters by attempting to replace Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine as the Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent, about our candidateís health.

Donna came in to take over the DNC at a very difficult time. We were grateful to her for doing so. She is a longtime friend and colleague of many of us and has been an important leader in our party. But we do not recognize the campaign she portrays in the book.

The 2016 presidential campaign was unlike any in our history. It was very difficult for our candidates and our staff. We are very proud that throughout the campaign and the aftermath the staff stuck together, worked as a team, and did the best we could for both Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. We did this for the simple reason that we thought Hillary Clinton would make the best President for the country we all love. We have now, as we did throughout the campaign, enormous love and pride for our candidate, Hillary Clinton. She, more than any of us, persevered through an incredibly difficult campaign and her commitment and stamina inspired us every day. We are very proud of the effort she and the campaign made in both the primary and the general election.

The general election loss was devastating for us all and something we live with every day. And while frustrating that the general election vote total did not change the outcome of the election, we remain proud that Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine received nearly 3 million more votes in the general election than their opponents.

Finally, we are pretty tired of people who were not part of our campaign telling the world what it was like to be on the inside of our campaign and how we felt about it. We loved our candidate and each other and it remains our honor to have been part of the effort to make Hillary Clinton the 45th President of the United States.

All Democrats should be doing everything they can ó canvassing, phone banking, etc. ó to help our candidates for Governor of Virginia and New Jersey and the other races around the country next Tuesday.

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Response to oasis (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 03:43 PM

36. I suspect it won't

 

People have very hardened opinions on her. A lot of people see her as never good enough.

I don't know enough to say if she did what I would consider the right thing, but it's 10 years ago and times have dramatically changed. In the moment I'm sure she did what she thought was best with the information she had in that time.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:27 AM

6. Excellent response. Thanks for posting.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:35 AM

7. Second chances are gifts.

Of course it doesn't always work. I've been fortunate to have had many second chances in my life. I always ended up failing in pretty much the same way I did with the first chance, but then I had nothing and nobody else to blame but myself. All the blame should be on the harassment guy.

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Response to betsuni (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:39 AM

11. I've had a second chance or two and

so grateful!

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:36 AM

9. A few quotes from Hillary's response..

"..assign her to work directly for my then-deputy-campaign manager;.."

".. Most importantly, she told me that for the remainder of the campaign, she flourished in her new role.."

There were those who were so upset that it was the victim who was moved.. without actually knowing the circumstances.

"Sheís read every word of this and has given me permission to share it. "

Thank you! Where did you get this, videohead?

And, Thank you, Hillary!

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Response to Cha (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 07:52 AM

23. Hillary

Posted it on her Facebook page.

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Response to videohead5 (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 02:46 PM

32. Mahalo, vh!

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Response to Cha (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 09:24 AM

24. Maggie Williams was the then deputy campaign manager.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Williams

If you google image her you will likely recognize her. I know that everyone who ever worked with her absolutely loved her. She took care of them. Working on a campaign is really stressful and she was always, always there for them.

Patti Solis Doyle, who was the source for the NY Times story by Maggie Haberman, was fired by the campaign and she was definitely not a staff favorite.

Thank you Hillary and Maggie.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 02:48 PM

34. Thank you, DURHAM!

Why did they fire Patty Solis Doyle? I don't recall

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 02:22 AM

14. Thank you. Wise words from the real president

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 02:33 AM

15. Sometimes leadership means admitting mistakes

It sucks for any of us to be retroactively long for years. But having the guts to admit it can be liberating. Well done sec. Clinton.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 03:03 AM

16. The idea that this is a scandal because of the decision she made a decade ago.

The very same Newspaper that reported it came to a similar conclusion last year. Haven't faced any outrage for keeping Thrush even though he had four complaints against him.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 04:14 AM

19. I am so proud of her. She is an amazing human being and would have made a great president

if only she had been given the opportunity to run in a real election rather than a rigged one.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 04:38 AM

21. I wholeheartedly agree with

everything you said, Stevie.

She spoke from her heart and I was hanging on to every well written word.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 04:31 AM

20. I appreciate her honest and thoughtful response. I don't feel she owed an explanation, but after

reading it, it puts things into better perspective on where she was coming from at the time when she made the decision not to fire him. As expected, it's not at all the scandal that the right would have loved for us to believe with their misleading narrative. In fact, there is absolutely nothing scandalous about it at all.

When are the Republicans and right-wing media going to stop conjuring up fake controversies to crucify HRC with? It's been going on for DECADES. I've never seen anything like it. It's a modern day witch-hunt on one of the most admirable women of our time. It truly saddens my heart to even think about it.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 12:35 PM

28. Well, well! I wonder if apologies will be forthcoming for maligning Hillary yet again.

A decent person describes her interest in being fair to all her employees and hoping for the best in people after disciplining them. The "victim" was very happy with the reassignment because of the prestigious opportunity to work directly with Clinton's Deputy Campaign Manager. That didn't stop the irrational haters to unhinge over one misinformed aspect of a couple sentences in an article about an internet hashtag.

Literally THOUSANDS of personnel decisions over decades, and they are ready to malign over a couple sentences in an article. The motivation is so transparent.

The kinds of distortions about Hillary here were truly disgusting.

If firing people is the only answer, then this is not the party of labor. No more employee assistance programs for substance abuse or anything for that matter. You can get fired over any questionable Facebook posts. Fired over getting pregnant. Just fire people.

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Response to videohead5 (Original post)

Wed Jan 31, 2018, 01:12 PM

31. Not to belabor the point

 

as if anyone thought otherwise anyway, I believe that our 2016 campaign did not handle the issue of sexual harassment well and that we suffered as a result.

HOWEVER

As I have stated from the moment this story first broke, Hillary Clinton's handling of this particular incident was exemplary when judged by the then-current standards AND she should have been praised, not criticized for what she did at the time.

I return to this subject again for only one reason. The statement set out in the OP not only confirms my prior opinion that her actions in 2008 were beyond reproach, they are a poignant statement of the pain, regret, whatever you want to call it, that every one of us of a certain age must, or should, feel as we look back on what we did back then with eyes now opened by #metoo, etc.. This is one of the most honest and genuinely reflective statements on this subject from a person in a position of power that I have ever read.

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