Painting a Picasso

Jeb Bush

People are so easily distracted by the latest shiny object, and that’s why stories like this work so well. Via the Washington Post’s PostPartisan column:

One of the best practitioners of the political dark arts used to refer to the kind of story that appeared yesterday about Hillary Clinton using a personal e-mail account instead of an official one while at the State Department as a “Picasso.” By that, he meant a masterpiece of his craft: placing, without fingerprints, negative stories that wind up on the front pages of a major newspaper and command the political news cycle for a few days. These stories are often months in the making and, at best, reinforce or create a new negative narrative about the target. So it is with this latest story on Clinton and e-mails. For Clinton-haters and skeptics, it underscores a pattern of deception and rule-breaking and threatens to become a chronic annoyance for her eventual candidacy. What e-mails are missing? What’s in them? A congressional investigation, anyone?

There’s another interesting wrinkle to this story for those who follow the game within the game of political campaigns. Who might have been the source of the story? Which master of the craft of opposition research? Well, I don’t know, but you don’t have to be an expert in forensics to suspect the campaign of Jeb Bush. Bush, after all, released all of his e-mails from his years as governor of Florida, which seems less curious now. And his campaign communications director, Tim Miller, perhaps the best in the Republican Party, is the former head of the factory of Clinton opposition research, America Rising. If that’s the case, the story could be a signal that Bush’s campaign knows how to throw a fastball up and in.

I knew it was an oppo dump, it had all the signs. And I figured it was Jeb Bush, trying to distract from the fact that he only released a carefully vetted version of his own private emails. So there you go. And, as Digby wrote:

Now having said all that about 90s style political gossip pretending to be news, may I also say that there are many legitimate stories to be done about Clinton. This may even turn out to be one, although it’s already moved well beyond what the facts at hand should allow. She has a very long record and some very cozy relationships with power and money that deserve to be hashed out. Her record in the Senate on foreign policy and National Security should be examined in detail. Nobody says she is above scrutiny and it’s the media’s job to do it. But to breathlessly report a story which was clearly planted by the Republicans with the express purpose of drawing out these lazy “character” stories is pathetic. Nobody wants to hear that any more than they want to sit and listen to “You Oughta Know” while watching “Friends” reruns. Believe me, it was bad enough the first time. Get a new song.

4 thoughts on “Painting a Picasso

  1. “I have asked STATE to release all of my emails” Hillary tweeted at 11:35 pm last night. If only they could Hillary. Unfortunately they’re all trapped in your personal server at some undisclosed location (probably your house) and nobody can have them until you release them.
    Clinton is in rarefied company when it comes to politicians running for president who use their own personal servers and email accounts to conduct government business.
    They include Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and of course Clinton. Talk about a bunch of reprobates.
    Legal experts and public disclosure advocates contend that the use of personal accounts could limit public access to those records. (So much for FOIA requests.)
    Corporate security experts say that although the use of these personal accounts shields them from open-records laws they leave them open to hacking by Russia, China and others. (Nobody ever claimed that politicians were all that bright.)
    Patrick Patterson, CEO of security at Agari, said “they have made it harder for us citizens to legally discover their email accounts.”
    Which is why it was well into the discovery process before the House Committee probing Benghazi learned that Clinton was using her own personal server for government business. A fact that STATE was surprised to learn.
    We still have no idea what Clinton has not turned over to STATE.
    Nor has Clinton told us why she found it necessary to hide what she was doing at STATE from we the people.
    A fish rots from the head.

  2. Here’s something else you might find amusing.
    The Clinton Foundation spent more on salaries and travel last year then it did on charitable giving.
    Pretty amusing don’t you think?

  3. Since I don’t have the time to constantly prove you’re wrong (and you almost always are), here’s a thought. Every time you start up about the Clintons as the font of all evil, you will include a link from an authoritative source proving your statements. If you continue to make shit up, I will ban you. Consider yourself warned.

    The financial documents showed that $8.4 million spent on travel during 2013 totaled nearly 10 percent of the foundation’s $84.6 million in expenses. A year earlier, travel made up 7.7 percent of the foundation’s $58.7 million in expenses.

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