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Mon Sep 28, 2015, 08:13 AM

Hillary’s Weapon of Mass Distraction

Hillary’s Weapon of Mass Distraction
by Jack Shafer
Politico
9/27/2015

....Was the pipeline the distraction? Or was the distraction the press corps’ insistence, after five years of Clinton waffling, that Clinton express a conclusive position on the pipeline’s future? Either way, by invoking the D-word, Madame Secretary swept the entire issue from the agenda. It’s time now to move forward! Declaring a subject or a question a distraction has become Clinton’s favorite way of dodging questions.

Those persistent questions about the private email server and the private emails she sent as secretary of state? Those are “distractions,” she said earlier this month. What do they distract from? Her campaign, she said. But the questions, while being distracting, aren’t actually distracting her, as she also said, “It hasn’t in any way affected the plan for our campaign, the efforts we’re making to organize here in Iowa and elsewhere in the country.”

While touring New Hampshire on April, Clinton was asked twice in one day about Clinton Cash, Peter Schweizer’s muckraking book about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. “You know, those issues are, in my view, distractions from what this campaign should be about, what I’m going to make this campaign about and I’ll let other people decide what they want to talk about," Clinton told WMUR-TV. An ABC News correspondent served a similar query, to which Clinton said, “Well, we’re back into the political season, and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks.” (Clinton considers any critical story about her an “attack.” But that’s another column.) She then voiced her hope that the race would soon progress to questions about the “issues.”

...snip....Clinton has been going on about the “politics of distraction” since the 1992 presidential campaign, when she used the phrase to describe the Republicans attention on Bill Clinton’s sex life. As did Bill. He went to decry the “failed policies of distraction” on the stump. When the womanizing stories returned in 1993, senior adviser George Stephanopoulos told USA Today (12/22/1993), “People can make up their own mind; the president is not going to be distracted by this stuff.” In August 1993, an unnamed Clinton aide told the Boston Globe that a Clinton weekend trip had been a success because no news had broken. “No stories means no distractions,” the aide said. “Distraction” became such a Bill Clinton byword that in 1997, he told USA Today he had learned to compartmentalize such “distractions” as Whitewater. While covering up his sex scandal in January 1998, Clinton denied having had an affair and expressed his fury about all the questions. “Anything that’s a distraction, I dislike,” Clinton said.

Read full story here~
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/09/hillary-clinton-distraction-keystone-pipeline-213195



*Jack Shafer is POLITICO's senior media writer. Previously, Jack wrote a column about the press and politics for Reuters and before that worked at Slate as a columnist and as the site's deputy editor. He also edited two alternative weeklies, SF Weekly and Washington City Paper. His work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, BookForum and the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hillary’s Weapon of Mass Distraction (Original post)
RiverLover Sep 2015 OP
HereSince1628 Sep 2015 #1
RiverLover Sep 2015 #2
daleanime Sep 2015 #3
HereSince1628 Sep 2015 #4
Metric System Sep 2015 #5
RiverLover Sep 2015 #6
Metric System Sep 2015 #7
HereSince1628 Sep 2015 #8

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 08:22 AM

1. Even a monkeyfishing libertarian can notice word choice,

I suppose.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 08:27 AM

2. LOL, ouch!

Yep, good point. While I don't agree with his extreme libertarian worldview, he nails it with this observation.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 08:49 AM

3. Good distraction....

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Response to daleanime (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 08:51 AM

4. You should read his bio. The monkeyfishing thing is a thing

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 08:51 AM

5. I don't think I've ever seen politicians have their words parsed, motives questioned, personal lives

examined like both Clintons have been subjected to.

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Response to Metric System (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 08:56 AM

6. It's distracting, isn't it?

Anything that's bad is so irrelevant & distracting. What matters is the good press only. The rest is just a waste of time to us "Everyday Americans".

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 09:04 AM

7. This is an opinion piece. As we know, opinions are like assholes...

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Response to Metric System (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 28, 2015, 09:06 AM

8. But then, I've never seen politicians so dead set on pressing the envelope of ethics and legality

I have never heard of a vast conspiracy trying repeatedly for decades to take down people working at the center of social expectations of ethics and the law, well outside of movies about organized crime trying to take down prosecutors, that is.




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