Joseph Cotto, 9/20/2016 [Archive]

It Seems No One is 'Ready for Hillary'

By Joseph Cotto

"For a while I've assumed Hillary Clinton would run for her party's nomination and be a formidable candidate in the general election," Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote in her March 12, 2015 article. "After Tuesday's news conference I'm not so sure."

Noonan detailed how Clinton "couldn't make eye contact with her questioners...She looked at the ceiling and down at notes...She was shaky. She couldn't fake good cheer and confidence."

On March 14, former Secretary of State Colin Powell emailed Jeffrey Leeds about the piece, asking if the stockbroker and Democratic super-donor was familiar with it.

"I did read Peggy," Leeds replied. "I think she's 80 percent right...I think Hillary can't believe she might not make it. It's the one prize she wants. She has everything else. And she HATES that the President ('that man,' as the Clintons call him) kicked her ass in 2008. She can't believe it or accept it."

"What did you think of Peggy this am?" Leeds then asked Powell.

"Not sure, but she has launched a story line that will be picked up. I think there is something to it," Powell responded. "On HD tv [Clinton] doesn't look too good. She is working herself to death. After speaking at the UN and doing the crummy press conference she flew to [San Francisco] to go to a paid gig for EBay and then went to Marc's house to get ready for a money dinner for the Clinton Foundation."

"I was in Marc's second house behind it and ducked her so we didn't turn loose another email story by being seen together," Powell continued. "She then flew back east the next morning. She will turn 70 her first year in office."

Leeds then revealed that Rhode Island's Democratic U.S. Senator "Sheldon Whitehouse, who is a huge Clinton supporter, said they were both giving speeches at the same event a few months back and she could barely climb the podium steps."

From 2015 into 2016, Clinton faced unraveling scandal over how she handled classified emails while serving under President Obama. As pressure built, she compared her conduct to Powell's.

He had something to say about the matter this August: "Spent last week with [Clinton's former Chief of Staff] Cheryl Mills and the HRC team burying the email flap...HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me into it."

"I told her staff three times not to try that gambit," Powell wrote. "I had to throw a mini tantrum...to get their attention. She keeps tripping into all these 'character' minefields."

Last year, Leeds told Powell that, when it comes to her email situation, "HRC may be in serious trouble. And she sounds terrible...Worse every day."

Powell responded: "Agree...I saw email more like a telephone than a cable machine. As long as the stuff is unclassified. I had a secure State.gov machine. Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris."

As if Clinton's health, emails, and egotism were not enough, another snake slithers in.

"I would rather not have to vote for [Clinton]," Powell related to Leeds during 2014, "although she is a friend I respect. A 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still d---ing bimbos at home (according to the [New York Post])."

These conversations were made public by DCLeaks, a shadowy whistleblower website that received several hacked emails concerning Powell.

This month, Clinton and her running mate, former Virginia Governor and incumbent U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, released a book to bolster their campaign. The New York Times reported that, during its first week, 3,000 copies were sold. Typically, books will have one-third of their ultimate sales amid said period. Therefore, Clinton is on track to sell merely 9,000 books -- the sort of thing one may expect from a minor-league publisher.

"She's got trouble...No one likes her," Leeds told Powell earlier this year.

3,000 individuals do. Then again, perhaps most purchased Clinton's book because they expect a first edition to be worth serious money someday.

So, are you, as Clinton's campaign asks, "Ready for Hillary"? I posed the question in last week's article, and it has not aged a day.

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Copyright 2016 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at joseph.f.cotto@gmail.com.

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