Friday, December 28, 2007

What Hillary Doesn't Know

"As soon as I found out that one of my supporters and co-chairs in New Hampshire made a statement, asked a series of questions, I made it clear it was not authorized, it was in no way condoned. I didn't know about it and he stepped down." - Senator Hillary Clinton, December 14, 2007.

By Senator Hillary Clinton

I don't know anything about my presidential campaign.

I didn't know we were planning negative attacks. I didn't know Billy Shaheen, a senior New Hampshire campaign aide, was going to make an issue of Senator Obama's teenage drug use. I didn't know my advisers were going to keep the issue alive by using the word "cocaine" in interviews after the aide was fired.

I didn't know my senior aides were using Senator Obama's kindergarten writings to concoct a pathological obsession for winning the presidency. I didn't know my campaign workers were planting questions with audience members before my appearances. I didn't know a 15-years-long fugitive illegally bundled $850,000 in donations on my behalf.

I didn't know my husband's disgraced National Security Adviser, who admitted stealing and destroying classified documents from the National Archives, would have "no official role" in my campaign after I selected him to advise me. I didn't know a gay General who supports me was traveling cross-country to the Republican You Tube debate to ask a loaded, partisan question.

I also don't know anything about my 2000 Senate campaign.

I didn't know why my former campaign finance director was indicted on four counts of filing false reports with the Federal Election Commission for an August, 2000 Hollywood fund-raising gala. I didn't know why 1,359 out of 1,369 votes cast in the Hasidic village of New Square were for me. I didn't know how my husband decided to pardon four residents of the same village on his last day in office even though they were convicted of stealing $40 million in federal funds.

I didn't know my brother was selling pardons. In fact, at the time I said:

"I'm just very, uh, disappointed about my brother's involvement. If I had known about, uh, this, we wouldn't be standing here today. Uh, I didn't know about it, and I'm very ... regretful that, uh, it occurred, that I didn't know about it. Uh, I might have been able to prevent this from happening. And I'm just very disappointed about the whole matter. I did not know. I was heartbroken and - and shocked by it."

I also don't know anything about The White House when I was the First Lady.

I didn't know why White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum removed documents from the late Vince Foster's office related to the Whitewater Development Corporation. I didn't know why he subsequently gave them to Margaret Williams, my chief of staff.

When asked about it in 1994, I said, "I can tell you what I know which is that I did not know that Vince had any of the documents related to our personal business in his office until after his death."

I didn't know how my Rose Law Firm records sought by Congressional investigators and a special prosecutor mysteriously turned up in my White House personal residence. I didn't know why the career White House Travel Office staff were fired. I didn't know The White House had access to hundreds of FBI background reports on former employees. I didn't know why a former bouncer was hired to head the Office of Personnel Security.

I also don't know anything about Arkansas when I was the state's First Lady.

I didn't know representing a bank before the Arkansas state regulators my husband appointed was a conflict of interest. I didn't know how Jim Blair turned my $1,000 investment in cattle futures contracts into a $100,000 profit. I didn't know what my former business partners Jim and Susan McDougal concealed that sent them both to prison. I didn't know what my former Rose Law Firm colleague Webster Hubbell was doing before he was convicted of tax evasion and mail fraud.

In fact, I don't know much about anything at all.

I don't know why so many women have accused my husband of ungentlemanly behavior. I don't know why a Google of "Hillary Clinton" and "scandal" produces 466,000 results. I don't know why a Google of "Hillary Clinton" and "I didn't know" returns 161,000 results.

I just don't know.