At first blush it seems almost absurd to compare Hillary Clinton and Richard Nixon.
But the former secretary of state and front-runner for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president has much more in common with the disgraced Republican president than you might think.
Oddly enough, Clinton even has a personal link to the infamous Watergate scandal that ended Nixon’s presidency. She was on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 as it conducted the impeachment inquiry of Nixon.
But in recent years, Hillary Clinton has been tearing pages out of Richard Nixon’s playbook. Take the email scandal, for example.
One of the more troubling pieces of the Hillary Clinton email scandalis that Clinton herself decided which of the more than 60,000 messages were work-related. She deleted 30,000 of them, so there’s no way to tell if any of them were in fact work-related, unless the FBI’s technical experts can recover them from the server.
Nixon had his tapes, an automated system that recorded conversations in the Oval Office. Part of the Watergate scandal was an 18.5 minute gap in those tapes – erased by an unknown Nixon staffer.
“It’s extraordinary – 60,000 emails and Hillary Clinton has said 30,000 of them, half, were personal and they were deleted. Who decided that? What’s on those emails?” Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward said in an appearance on MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe” program in August.
Woodward and partner Carl Bernstein, of course, did most of the reporting on the Watergate scandal that eventually forced Nixon’s resignation.
“It, in a way, reminds me of the Nixon tapes,” Woodward continued. “Thousands of hours of secretly recorded conversations that Nixon thought were exclusively his, that he was not going to give them – Hillary Clinton initially took that position: ‘I’m not turning this over. There’s going to be no cooperation.'”
Hillary Clinton’s behavior throughout the email scandal shows that she and Richard Nixon have disturbingly similar character flaws. Here’s a look at how much these two are alike…
The Hillary Clinton-Richard Nixon Parallels
- Hatred of the Media
Nixon’s disdain for the press was well-known. He avoided reporters as much as possible and held them in low regard. In his decades-long feud with syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, Nixon had his staff plant letters and editorials critical of Anderson, and even had the CIA spy on him. Hillary Clinton, too, distrusts the media. In the early months of her current campaign, she gave almost no interviews and had her staff keep the press corps at arm’s length during public events. At a Fourth of July parade in New Hampshire, Clinton ordered for a moving rope line to keep reporters at bay. While Clinton’s relationship with the media is less contentious than Nixon’s, she only engages when she feels she must.
- Keeping Track of “Enemies”
The “Nixon Enemies List” was created in 1971 by White House Counsel Charles Colson. The people on the list were mostly journalists and political opponents. Nixon’s staff would retaliate against these enemies by using government levers of power – grant availability, federal contracts, litigation, prosecution, and more. During the 2008 election, Hillary Clinton’s staff created a political “hit list” of Democrats. People on the list were graded from one to seven, with seven being the worst. These were folks that Hillary or Bill Clinton had helped in some way, but who instead supported the candidacy of Barack Obama. The Clintons have used the list to withhold political assistance from those who have betrayed them – a big deal since no one has more power and influence in the Democratic Party than the Clintons.
- An Unhealthy Obsession with Secrecy
After leaving office, Nixon himself admitted he’d become “almost a basket case with regard to secrecy” while president. Even within the Nixon White House, key information was kept from staffers who should have been in the loop. The email scandal shows Hillary Clinton is just as concerned with secrecy. Despite her excuse that she used the private server for “convenience,” the more obvious reason is that she wanted control of her emails to keep them from prying eyes in the media. Then she deleted half of them, turned over the rest in paper form, and wiped the server clean. Even as far back as 1992 as first lady, Hillary had the passage to the upper press office in the West Wing closed to restrict reporters’ access to White House business.
What Hillary Clinton Voters Must Learn from Richard Nixon
While Hillary Clinton’s actions so far pale beside Richard Nixon’s, that she shares so many character flaws with him is very concerning. And consider that almost all of Nixon’s worst behavior occurred after he became president.
Would a President Hillary Clinton surrender more and more to her worst instincts, as Nixon did? And as happened with Nixon, would Clinton’s White House staff begin to absorb and act upon those negative traits?
That’s the chance America will take by putting Hillary Clinton in the White House in election 2016.
“The Republican party and many conservatives made a fatal mistake in 1968 when they nominated Richard Nixon despite ample evidence he was a political conniver… [and] had been involved in various financial scandals during his career,” National Review national affairs correspondent John Fund wrote in March. “There is certainly ample evidence for Democrats to worry about what a return of the Clintons to the White House could mean for their party. … If Democrats ignore the warning signs about Hillary the way Republicans ignored the ones raised about Richard Nixon, they may well also owe history and their party a future accounting.”
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