What to make of Wikileaks’ latest information trove on Hillary Clinton

The latest Wikileaks hack would be bad news for the Clinton campaign… if it weren’t for Trump’s latest headache.
The latest Wikileaks hack would be bad news for the Clinton campaign… if it weren’t for Trump’s latest headache.
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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Wikileaks announced today another dump of what it says are hacked emails from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.

Among the emails acquired appear to be transcripts of some of Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street interests in which she champions certain tenets of free trade her campaign has recently come out against. Another contradiction of the campaign’s current platform emerges around Social Security, which the former Secretary of State has promised to expand, despite comments made during a speech delivered to bankers at Morgan Stanley in 2013 in which she praised the Simpson-Bowles deficit plan entailing Social Security cuts.

An additional leaked email exchange suggests Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile may have disclosed question material to the Clinton campaign ahead of a primary debate against Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

While some have framed the emails as evidence of Clinton’s reasonability as a politician, others have criticized them and held them up as evidence of the candidate’s supposed duplicitousness.

Though the Clinton campaign has yet to confirm or deny the content of the emails, they have managed to constitute quite a headache in an otherwise favorable weekend for the former secretary of state—Donald Trump dropped 11 points in national polls following the surfacing of sexually explicit hot-mic comments from 2005 about Access Hollywood anchor Nancy O’Dell.

Indeed the email dump inspired Clinton campaign press secretary Brian Fallon to craft a rather lengthy Twitter tirade against Wikileaks, which he accuses the organization of colluding with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the US presidential election.

What most political commentators can agree on is that, in any other universe, these leaks would be disastrous for a presidential campaign. But set up against the bombastic scandals unearthed regarding her opponent, these disclosures appear relatively benign in voters’ eyes. Nor do they seem to be of any particular interest to the Trump campaign. “Republican nominee whose campaign wasn’t collapsing upon itself,” writes New York Magazine’s Eric Levitz. “But, for the party’s current standard-bearer, attacking Clinton for her husband’s decades-old sexual behavior in a bid to absolve himself for his own degeneracy appears to take precedence.”