Hillary Clinton’s ‘Dog Ate My Homework’ Problem

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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There’s a “dog-ate-my-homework quality to this Clinton episode, with Hillary saying: Sorry, I deleted the remaining 30,000 or so e-mails, so I just can’t show them to you,” writes Larry Kudlow. He has a point. But that wasn’t the only thing from yesterday’s press conference that felt childish.

She began by dinging Republican senators who signed that letter about Iran for being “out of step with the best traditions of American leadership.” This move was generally praised as savvy, but it was a non sequitur that felt viscerally discordant. And here’s why: Any parent knows that a child who is hiding something will typically begin by telling you about “the other really bad thing that Johnny did today!”

Another tried and true technique for a guilty kid is the “everyone else does it, too” defense. Ignoring the fact that she violated a 2009 regulation, Clinton chose the “Others had done it,” line of defense. Literally. “Others had done it,” Clinton said. “According to the State Department, which recently said Secretary Kerry was the first secretary of state to rely primarily on a state.gov e-mail account.” (There was also the whole “I’m special, so the rules don’t apply to me” suggestion that teens are fond of employing. “I wanted to just use one device for both personal and work e-mails, instead of two,” she said.)

Indeed, for parents of prevaricating youths, much of what was said sounded all too familiar. “I have had a few kids who had the audacity to tell me they looked through their notes from their teachers and, in fact, there was nothing that was bad, so they threw them away,” emailed one incredulous dad yesterday. Come to think of it, the “dog ate my homework” excuse isn’t the right analogy. It’s not brazen enough.

Matt K. Lewis