By Hillary Clinton standards, it was a laugh riot.
The stiff-as-a-board former first lady, former senator, and former secretary of state tried to yuk it up with the Washington press corps Monday, joking about how she’s “all about new beginnings” — she tried to prove it by presenting a new image of herself.
So only hours after a closed-door meeting with President Obama – a meeting that wasn’t announced on the president’s public schedule and one where the topic of conversation wasn’t disclosed – Clinton appeared in front of an audience of Washington reporters to announce a new openness to the press, and by extension, the American people.
“A new grandchild, another new hair style, a new email account, why not a new relationship with the press?” she said. “So here goes, no more secrecy, no more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do me?”
By most people’s standards, secrecy has done Mrs. Clinton a world of good. She employed it to quelching the bimbo eruptions that threatened to derail her husband’s bid for the presidency in 1992. She used it – and a stone face – to weathered the serial scandals of the Clinton administration (and for those too young to remember, they weren’t all about sex).
And it was her obsession with secrecy that led to the colossal effrontery of establishing her own private email account on a private server while ostensibly conducting the public’s business as the United States secretary of state.
Through it all, she still seems to take it personally that the political media – as flaccid and forgiving of liberals as it can be in year 6 of the Age of Obama – shows some skepticism about her belief that what’s good for the Clintons is automatically good for the country.
Hence her joke at Monday night’s gathering of the media elite for the Toner Prize, a journalistic honor named after the legendary News York Times political reporter Robin Toner. Her relationship with reporters is “complicated,” Clinton said.
“Before I go any further, if you look under your chairs, you’ll find a simple non-disclosure agreement. My attorneys drew it up.
“Old habits last.”
It was a joke about her obsession with secrecy.
And by Hillary Clinton standards, it was hilarious.
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