A Chance to Change the Conversation
After a nearly year-long controversy, the Hillary-Clinton-personal-email-saga has finally come to a close—or so we hoped. Despite FBI Director James Comey recommending no charges for Clinton over her use of a personal email server and Attorney General Loretta Lynch officially announcing that charges would not be brought against Clinton, the nightmare has yet to conclude for the presidential hopeful. The FBI may have shut down the possibility of Clinton appearing before a court of law, but she now faces an even tougher jury in the biased, misinformed, and unforgiving court of public opinion.
Republicans have spent this election season obsessing over the possibility of proving Clinton is somehow guilty of mass conspiracy for making a mistake we are all guilty of: the pursuit of convenience. Yes, Clinton made an error in judgement and violated State Department policy. But it was just that—a human error, motivated by nothing more than the desire to make a busy life a little less hectic. As a presidential candidate plagued by labels of mistrust and conspiracy and a DC-insider struggling to connect with the average voter—Clinton’s response to this decision could either catapult her into the Oval Office or reaffirm the belief that America has finally had enough of career politicians.
The investigation into Clinton’s emails has been dragging on for almost a year, wasting time and taxpayers’ dollars. While the FBI has declined to reveal the cost of their investigation, the conservative website American Thinker estimated in May that it would cost upwards of $20 million. And despite the already alarming amount of time, energy, and money spent on this investigation, Republican lawmakers continue to look for ways to drag this along. Comey was called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday morning, and the House Judiciary Committee announced that Lynch would appear to testify next week. While many voters see this as yet another example of corruption in Washington, Clinton should view it is an opportunity to once and for all change the narrative and finally move on.
As Americans sit on the edge of their seats waiting for Clinton’s response, she needs to take the time to honestly reflect on not only her mistake, but what she has learned from it. As an individual who day-in and day-out is ripped to shreds by those who question her every move, it would be a natural reaction for Clinton to dodge questions on the issue in order to avoid saying something that will be twisted, dissected, and criticized by the thousands of people looking for an excuse to pounce. As they sit around sharpening their blades, I can sympathize with her desire to duck and dodge. However, America expects more. In order to become the next leader of the most powerful nation in the world, Clinton has to prove to the American people that she is human and made a human mistake.
Rather than run from the situation, Clinton should use the FBI’s decision as an opportunity to clearly and concisely communicate what she has learned from the process that will enable her to better serve the country. Many of her critics among the American people want to know that this process wasn’t all for nothing, and that something “good” came out of all this chaos. Luckily for Clinton, she can capitalize on the Republican’s defeat by responding in the most unexpected way: thanking them. She should thank Congress, the FBI, and the American people for giving her the opportunity to reflect on her past mistakes, grow from them, and become an even better individual to serve the country than she was when she announced her candidacy. This response will allow her to close the book on the story, move forward, and will frame any continued efforts by Congress to further this charade as motivated not by the pursuit of justice, but rather by the corrupt political agendas of politicians who don’t know when enough is enough.
Hillary Clinton has the extraordinary opportunity to turn public dissonance against her opponents. She has the chance to prove she has the integrity to admit when she is wrong, the humility to learn from her mistakes, and the resilience to come back stronger than ever.
LEVICK Fellow Kelsey Chapekis contributed to this post.