Hillary Clinton (Associated Press photo)
By James M. Perry
Hillary Rodham Clinton may finally be in trouble.
The basic problem seems to be that she's just too much of everything. Too much money. Too much ego. Too much shaving corners to get her way.
The latest example of her imperial tendencies is the business of using her own personal emails, instead of government ones, when she was Barack Obama's secretary of state. Republicans have been agitating for months to convince voters that Mrs. Clinton was responsible, in part at least, for the deadly raid on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Now they have suggestions that what they're looking for -- anything to tarnish Mrs. Clinton -- might be buried in all those personal emails.
It was, a New York Times editorial said, "a disturbing departure from the normal practice of relying primarily on departmental emails for official business." And so it was.
Even more curious is the news, reported in the Washington Post, that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during her four-year tenure as secretary of state. One of them, a $500,000 donation from the government of Algeria, should have been cleared with the Obama administration, the foundation admitted.
Other donations came from the governments of Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman, all of them repressive on human-rights issues.
The foundation's defense is that all this money went to support good works. The $500,000 donation from Algeria, for example, went to relief efforts following the earthquake in 2010 in Haiti. But at the same time Algeria was supporting Haitian relief it spent $422,097 lobbying U.S. government officials on human rights and other issues.
The Clinton Foundation, based in Arkansas, is serious business. Since it was founded by former President Clinton, it has raised almost $2 billion, distributed in a number of charitable endeavors.
Why would the Clintons allow these unnecessary things to happen? Think, for a moment, who Hillary Clinton is. She is, in fact, the most celebrated woman in American history. She was born in 1947 in Illinois of middle-class parents. She was the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College. She married Bill Clinton and became the First Lady of Arkansas and, at the same time, the first female partner in the Rose Law Firm. When her husband was elected president, she moved with him and their daughter, Chelsea, into the White House. When that came to an end, the family moved to New York and she was elected the first female senator from the state. She ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, winning more delegate votes than any of the women who sought the office before her, losing narrowly to Mr. Obama. She then served four years in his administration as secretary of state.
She will be 68 years old in October and, with the understanding that the Democrats have no one else, she may feel that now is her time, and that nothing should be allowed to stand in her way.
James M. Perry, a prominent veteran political reporter, contributes regular observations to post-gazette.com. Mr. Perry was the chief political correspondent of The Wall Street Journal until his retirement. Prior to that, he covered national politics for the Dow Jones weekly, The National Observer.