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Monday afternoon, Sen. Marco Rubio was interviewed by the Five. Here’s the video of the interview:

When it was Greg Gutfeld’s turn to ask questions, he sought a clarification. Here’s that exchange:

GREG GUTFELD: I think what Julie is trying to say is that dictators might be cruel but the Islamic religious extremists that replace them are apocalyptic so once we found out what came in there, it made everything look different. I disagree but I think that’s what you’re trying to say.
JULIE ROGINSKY: Well, sort of.
GREG GUTFELD: Isn’t the underlying driver of Obama’s foreign policy was to shrink our footprint, that we were too big and we were failing and he wanted to turn a Cadillac into a Moped?
SEN. RUBIO: So the underlying argument he has for the Middle East is that this is a grievance-based problem. But these groups in there, whether they’re Iran or a radical jihadist, have grievances against us and if we just stop doing the things that make them aggrieved, things will be better. That’s not the truth. The truth is that these are not grievance-based problems we have with them. These are ideological-based problems and it’s a pretty simple ideology. They want everyone to worship like they do or die. And they view us in the short term as a threat to their regional ambitions but in the long term, once they’re done conquering the region, they intend to come for Europe and, ultimately, the United States. They’ve made that very clear. When they say that, we should believe them.

In that brief exchange, Sen. Rubio showed a better grasp of reality than our current commander-in-chief and his Secretary of State.

With the Middle East being in tatters, this election will be more about national security than most elections. In a head-to-head matchup with Hillary, Sen. Rubio would likely mop the floor with her behind. Add into that the possibility of electing the first Hispanic president and Hillary’s troubles. If that’s the matchup, Hillary will have a steep hill to climb.

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I didn’t trust Hillary when she said she’d turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department. That’s just one reason why I don’t believe it when her lawyer, David Kendall, when he said that Hillary’s private emails have been destroyed:

WASHINGTON — An examination of the server that housed the personal email account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used exclusively when she was secretary of state showed that there are no copies of any emails she sent during her time in office, her lawyer told a congressional committee on Friday.

After her representatives determined which emails were government-related and which were private, a setting on the account was changed to retain only emails sent in the previous 60 days, her lawyer, David Kendall, said. He said the setting was altered after she gave the records to the government.

“Thus, there are no hdr22@clintonemail.com emails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized,” Mr. Kendall said in a letter to the House select committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Those statements have more gaping holes in them than a brick of Swiss cheese. First, it’s clever to say that there aren’t any “copies of any emails she sent during her time in office.” Parsing Clinton 101 immediately requires the reader/listener to question modifying words like copies. The next question I’d ask is whether there’s a registry on the Clintons’ private server listing emails Hillary sent in her official capacity as Secretary of State. The next question I’d ask is whether there were any original emails still stored on the Clintons’ private server. The third question I’d ask is what the Clintons’ definition of work-related emails is.

That’s just for starters.

Next, I’d want investigators to determine if there are any emails on the Clintons’ private server from other email addresses other than hdr22@clintonemail.com. I’d ask because we know other high-ranking staff had private @clintonemail.com email addresses. It’s important to remember that Kendall didn’t say that there weren’t any emails sent or received by Huma Abedin or Sheryl Mills.

That’s before stating the obvious.

IRS Commissioner Koskinen testified that Lois Lerner’s hard drive had been destroyed, meaning all of Ms. Lerner’s emails were destroyed, too. It isn’t surprising that that’s been updated:

Despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly saying under oath in previous hearings that Lerner’s emails could not be recovered, Camus and investigators have been successful in recovering nearly 33,000 emails relevant to the IRS investigation.

“To date we have found 32,774 unique e-mails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s e-mail box. We are in the process of comparing these e-mails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails. We are also in the process of having the e-mail server hard drives analyzed if there are any readable e-mails that can be recovered from these hard drives. And finally, we are continuing to determine if there are any other sources that may contain Lois Lerner’s e-mails,” Camus said during testimony.

The other lesson people should know in parsing the Clintons is this fundamental rule: the Clintons will always do the right thing…when that’s their only option left. Trusting the Clintons isn’t advised. Trusting a Clinton protector is downright foolish.

That’s why I’d tell Chairman Gowdy to depose Hillary before I’d have her testify. I’d want to question Hillary at length privately before she testifies in public just to paint Hillary into a corner with her own testimony. The lengthier the time I get to question her, the more likely it is she’ll trip herself up.

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The first thing I need to say before getting into this post’s substance is that George Will is one of the brightest conservatives I’ve ever listened to. That’s why it was difficult for me to watch this video:

Here’s the transcript from the important part of Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: George, where do you think Cruz fits in the Republican presidential field? And what do you think are his realistic chances to win the nomination?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: We’ve seen this movie before, Chris. In 1964, Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater, partly on the theory called conservatives in the woodwork, that there were enormous number of conserves who only offered candidate who ignored what Cruz calls the mushy middle, they’d come out of the woodwork and form a national majority. Well, Goldwater’s 27 million voters, of whom I was one, suffice to carry six states.

The question for Mr. Cruz and for anyone seeking the Republican nomination is this, given that 18 states and the District of Columbia with 242 electoral votes voted Democratic in six consecutive elections and if the Democratic nominee holds that base, he or she will spend the fall looking for 28 electoral votes and will find them. Given that, they have to ask the question, what red, what blue state are you going to flip specifically? Can Ted Cruz campaign effectively in one of those 18 states? Pennsylvania, how is he going to do piling up big majorities to carry the state in the suburban counties, Bucks, Montgomery, around Philadelphia? I’m skeptical.

First, let’s stipulate that every Republican faces the same obstacle as Sen. Cruz. Next, let’s stipulate that some are better equipped to flipping some of the states that Will is referring to. Third, let’s stipulate that Will has said the same thing about every other Republican potential presidential candidate with one exception. That exception is Chris Christie.

Will’s defeatist attitude, which I’m certain he’ll characterize as simply a statement of fact, isn’t worthy of a man of his intelligence. According to this map, Will is right that Republicans start at a distinct disadvantage:

That’s the extent, though, that I’m willing to concede. There are 538 electoral votes, which is why the winning candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. Starting with 242 electoral votes means that 296 electoral votes are still up for grabs or solidly in GOP-controlled states.

First, let’s look at solidly red states. The GOP candidate starts with a base of 200 electoral votes. Next, let’s look at purple states like Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa and Nevada. Florida has 29 EVs, followed by Ohio with 18 EVs, Virginia with 13 EVs, Colorado with 9, Nevada and Iowa with 6 apiece, New Mexico with 5 and New Hampshire with 4 EVs.

If Sen. Rubio is on the ticket, either as the nominee or running mate, that definitely flips Florida’s 29 EVs and likely puts Nevada and Colorado in the GOP column. Just putting those states in the GOP column gives the GOP ticket 244 EVs. If Scott Walker is the GOP nominee and Rubio is his running mate, that likely puts Iowa and Wisconsin in the GOP column. That puts the GOP ticket at 260 EVs. That means Hillary has to win Ohio, New Hampshire and Virginia.

At that point, if Republicans win either Virginia or Ohio, they’d retake the White House.

Is it mathematically challenging? Yes, for both parties.

That’s before factoring in the quality of campaigns the two sides run and events that are beyond the candidates’ control. If Republicans run a youthful, energetic, ideas-driven ticket, they won’t have to say a thing about Hillary looking fatigued. It’ll be that obvious. Further, if the Middle East continues being a disaster and Russia continues its expansionist ways, Hillary will have lots of problems because she’s joined at the hip with President Obama as the co-architects of that foreign policy.

If Mr. Will wants to continuously be a pessimist about the GOP ticket for 2016, that’s his right under the First Amendment that he writes so eloquently about. It just doesn’t mean he’s right. He should know that campaigns and events matter. Right now, Hillary is a terrible candidate and events both domestically and especially internationally favor Republicans.

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Ed Morrissey’s column has a section that should frighten thoughtful Americans of all political stripes:

Funny, but the White House took a distinctly less charitable approach to the ally that opposed Iran the previous week. Benjamin Netanyahu, in fighting for re-election in Israel, told voters there that he could no longer support a two-state solution under the current conditions of Palestinian leadership. He also warned Israelis that outside activists had attempted to boost voting of Israeli Arabs in an attempt to defeat Likud, and urged Israel’s Jews to turn out more heavily for him. In the final days of the election, Netanyahu won handily.

Did the Obama administration shrug Netanyahu’s words off as “intended for a domestic political audience?”

Of course not.

Ever since, the White House has been in high dudgeon, slamming Netanyahu’s campaign for both the comments about Arab turnout and the futility of negotiating with a Hamas-partnered Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu has tried making amends for both statements, but as late as Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf sniffed that the US didn’t find Netanyahu credible any longer. “Given his statements prior to the election, it’s going to be hard to find a path where people seriously believe, when it comes to negotiations, that those are possible.”

Let’s get this straight. Benjamin Netanyahu, the elected head of government of a US ally, defies Obama on a policy that impacts Israel’s security, then apologizes for it, and yet is considered someone who lacks credibility. However, when the head of state of a nation that has sponsored terrorism for decades openly says, “Death to America,” the Obama administration shrugs off the statement as mere domestic politics and considers him a credible partner for peace.

We are truly through the looking glass with this President.

It has become abundantly clear that Obama wants a deal for the sake of claiming a foreign policy achievement, no matter what the cost, and no matter what it does to our allies, especially Israel. The situation is reminiscent of another confrontation between Western powers and an extremist dictatorship that professed its own destiny to rule the world, and where the dictator even wrote out his plans for world domination and practically begged everyone to read them.

Ed’s right. President Obama wants a foreign policy achievement in the worst way. If he signs the deal with Iran, what he’ll get won’t be an achievement but it will be done for the worst reasons.

Simply put, this would be a foreign policy achievement in the same way that trading the Taliban Five for Bo Bergdahl was a foreign policy accomplishment. Signing a nonbinding agreement with Iran is just as foolish as trading for a soldier who was just charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

I could write President Obama’s legacy a month after he leaves office. It won’t take time to see how his policies worked out. They’re already failing without much hope of turning around. If the Iranian people strip the mullahs of their power, this agreement won’t be a total, longlasting disaster. Regardless of whether the Saudi attack on Yemen uproots the Houthis, it’s clear that President Obama’s policies failed Yemen’s government.

I could write that President Obama “served with distinction and honor” only if I applied the same standards that Susan Rice applied to Bowe Bergdahl. Otherwise, I’d have to say he’s been a disaster.

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If Josh Rogin’s article is right, Hillary’s paranoia has led to a national cyber-security breach of great magnitude. Rupert Murdoch started the ball rolling with this tweet:


Here’s what Mssrs. Rogin and Lake wrote:

Hillary Clinton didn’t take a basic precaution with her personal e-mail system to prevent hackers from impersonating or “spoofing” her identity in messages to close associates, according to former U.S. officials familiar with her e-mail system and other cyber-security experts.

This vulnerability put anyone who was in communication with her clintonemail.com account while she was secretary of state at risk of being hacked. Clinton said at the United Nations last week that there were no security breaches of her personal e-mail server, which she used to send and receive more than 60,000 professional and personal e-mails. But former cyber-security officials and experts told us that there were gaps in the system.

That’s just the start of things. Here’s more:

Experts told us that oversight was just one flaw of a security system that would have been relatively easy for foreign intelligence services and others to exploit. “I have no doubt in my mind that this thing was penetrated by multiple foreign powers, to assume otherwise is to put blinders on,” said Bob Gourley, the chief technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2005 to 2008 and the founder of Cognitio, a cybersecurity consultancy.

“If a Sender Policy Framework was not in use, they could send an e-mail that looks like it comes from her to, say, the ambassador of France that says, ‘leave the back door open to the residence a package is coming,'” added Gourley. “Or a malicious person could send an e-mail to a foreign dignitary meant to cause an international incident or confuse U.S. foreign policy.”

Guy Benson wrote this scathing opinion of Hillary:

This is unforgivable. Myopia, paranoia, arrogance and reckless incompetence, all rolled into one set of astounding revelations. By the way, just a few days ago, the State Department shut down large parts of its email system due to malware placed by Russian hackers who somehow burrowed into the network.

It’s one thing to have our national security email system hacked by experts working for hostile foreign governments. It’s another when our national security email system was hacked because Hillary Clinton didn’t take minimal security precautions to protect her private email account, which she used for conducting diplomacy.

Hillary’s recklessness, coupled with her intent to avoid oversight scrutiny, has compromised US national security. I’ll state without hesitation that Hillary isn’t qualified to be the US commander-in-chief. Exposing sensitive and/or classified communications to foreign governments was avoidable. For that reason, Hillary flunks the commander-in-chief test. Period.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t bring up any other business until the Senate passes the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act:

When Democrats prevented debate on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, they objected to the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment in the bill. Here’s a little history on the Hyde Amendment:

In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions except if a pregnancy arises from incest or rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services and primarily affects Medicaid.

The original Hyde Amendment was passed on September 30, 1976 by the House of Representatives, by a 207-167 vote. It was named for its chief sponsor, Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois. The measure was the first major legislative success by the United States pro-life movement after the striking down of anti-abortion laws following the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Congress subsequently altered the Hyde Amendment several times. The version in force from 1981 until 1993 prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions “except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.

Fast forward to the day when the Senate was supposed to pass the bill. Suddenly, Democrats blocked the bill, saying that they were blindsided by the Hyde Amendment being in this 68-page bill. The Hyde Amendment had been part of the bill from Day One.

What’s especially interesting is that the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously. Here are the members of the Committee. But I digress. Here’s a fair account of what happened:

WASHINGTON – A staffer in Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office was aware of a controversial abortion-related provision in a sex trafficking bill that has ground the Senate to a halt and stalled the nomination of the next U.S. Attorney General. Klobuchar is the primary Democratic cosponsor on the bipartisan bill that would establish a restitution fund for victims of human trafficking with money seized from convicted sex traffickers.

The bill was set to sail through the Senate after a brief debate last week until it suddenly stalled when Democrats announced that it contained what’s known as “Hyde Amendment” language they had been unaware of. The language prevents the use of the seized money to pay for abortions.

Up until now Democrats,

including Klobuchar
, claimed they were blindsided by the language that was included by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

It’s time for Democrats to give a little. In previous negotiations, they’ve insisted on Republicans caving. I’m happy that Mitch McConnell has locked up the Senate. If the Democrats won’t give on this, why should he give Ms. Lynch an up or down vote?

After getting elected in 2008, President Obama told Eric Cantor that elections have consequences right before President Obama jammed his stimulus bill down our throats. Now that President Obama got his ass handed to him in the 2014 election, President Obama has insisted that elections don’t have consequences. He’s about to find out that they do have consequences.

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Last night on the Special Report All Star Panel, Ron Fournier said that James Carville had accidentally sold Hillary out:

Fournier also commented on James Carville’s defense of Clinton, arguing that “what Carville did is give up the goods. What he admitted there was that this was not a matter of convenience, which is what the Secretary said. He admitted that the reason she did this was so she didn’t have to comply with the oversight of the House, and with the natural laws of transparency. He gave up the goods. He sold her out.”

What a tangled web she weaves when Hillary attempts to deceive. The more she talks about this, the deeper she digs the hole. The dishonesty is bad enough but that isn’t the worst part for Hillary.

Hillary’s dishonesty contributes to her image that she isn’t trustworthy. Everyone remembers her most famous moment of dishonesty:

It’s clear that Hillary’s first instinct is to not tell the truth. It’s clear that telling the truth isn’t a high priority with her. In fact, Hillary has repeatedly shown that Hillary’s highest priority is protecting Hillary politically.

As bad as those things are, though, they aren’t Hillary’s worst attributes. What’s worst is that Hillary’s lived a life of privilege for so long that she thinks that the rules don’t apply to her. Every State Department employee signs Form OF-109except Hillary. Every State Department employee’s emails are stored on the State Department’s server. When those employees leave, the State Department determines which emails are personal and which are work-related…except Hillary.

People talk about Hillary’s campaign as a coronation. What these people haven’t realized is that Hillary’s already appointed herself queen…years ago.

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This week’s Orchids and Onions contains this complaint:

Onions: Of, “I told you so,” to all the Democrat supporters of Obama and his veto of the Keystone Pipeline. Now we have more than 400 union Steelworkers losing their jobs at Keetac because of the lack of demand for steel products. Democrat Sens. Klobuchar and Franken, along with the biggest Democrat of all, President Barack Obama, have once again thrown union workers to the wolves in order to keep their radical environmental buddies happy. Why, please tell us why, aren’t our steelworker union heads not yelling their guts out about this lack of support for union jobs by Obama, Klobuchar, and Franken?

It’s frustrating to see valuable blue collar workers thrown under the Obama/Klobuchar/Franken/environmentalist bus. These people don’t like fossil fuels. They don’t care about the infrastructure that’s needed to safely transport that oil to refineries.

Worst of all, they don’t really support these industrial unions. Admittedly, they’re great at paying lip service to them come election time. Unfortunately for these unions, that stops the day after the election.

Until industrial unions stop supporting Democrats financially, they’ll get shafted by Democrats.

Whether it’s mining unions in northern Minnesota or construction unions across the nation, their financial support of Democrats keeps putting their jobs at risk. Those contributions help Democrats elect more environmental activists to the legislature, Congress and the White House. It won’t change anytime soon if these unions keep supporting these hardline environmentalists.

It isn’t surprising that President Obama hasn’t done a thing to help build the Keystone XL Pipeline. He never will. That’s because he’s a hardline environmentalist.

When St. Amy of Hennepin County, aka Sen. Amy Klobuchar, runs for re-election in 2018, it’s imperative that these industrial unions question why she hasn’t supported them. The union rank-and-file can’t hesitate in telling her that she has a choice. She can either support their agenda or support the environmentalists’ agenda. They need to tell Sen. Klobuchar that their support hinges solely on whose agenda she votes for.

It’s time the industrial unions held the Democrats’ feet to the fire. In fact, it’s time for them to abandon the Democratic Party until the Democratic Party starts supporting their agenda.

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Until Hillary Clinton affirms under oath that she signed form OF-109 and provides forensic proof that she complied with the form’s requirements, everything else, like James Carville’s op-ed, is irrelevant. Saying ‘Trust me’ won’t suffice.

Here are the first 2 things on the OF-109 form:

1. I have surrendered to responsible officials all classified or administratively controlled documents and material with which I was charged or which I had in my possession, and I am not retaining in my possession, custody, or control, documents or material containing classified or administratively controlled information furnished to me during the course of such employment or developed as a consequence thereof, including any diaries, memorandums of conversation, or other documents of a personal nature that contain classified or administratively controlled information.

2. I have surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents and papers relating to the official business of the Government acquired by me while in the employ of the Department or USIA.

To this point, Hillary hasn’t stated whether she signed this document or whether she complied with this requirement. Those points require all State Department employees to affirm that they’ve turned over all records (past tense), both classified and unclassified, to the State Department Intelligence Agency before their last day of work with the State Department.

According to the GSA website, Form OF-109 hasn’t changed since the Clinton administration:

Form: OF109

Separation Statement Current Revision Date: 09/1994

The last time this form changed was before the Gingrich Revolution. That’s more than 20 years ago.

Finally, we don’t have verified forensic corroboration that Hillary turned over everything she was required to turn into the State Department because that corroboration is only possible through a thorough search of Hillary’s server. That clearly hasn’t happened. Until it does, ‘trust me’ won’t cut it.

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During her ‘Trust Me’ news conference, Hillary Clinton insisted that she did everything she was supposed to do in terms of preserving her emails. Last night, the All-Star Panel on Special Report sharply disagreed:

Judge Napolitano opened the panel with this observation:

JUDGE NAPOLITANO: There are two forms that [Hillary] had to sign. She had to sign one on Day One in which she took an oath to preserve in the government’s possession the government records. If she signed it and two weeks later, she diverted the government records to her husband’s server in Chappaqua, NY, she probably committed perjury. The second one, the one that you’ve identified that Megyn revealed last night, which you sign on your last day in office in which you say “I have returned to the government already — it’s in the past tense — the government’s records, if she signed that, and she did so under oath, as the document requires you to do, she probably committed perjury. We don’t know if she signed this but we do know nobody in the government is authorized to exempt her from [signing] these documents.
BRET BAIER: Congressman Jason Chaffetz is planning a formal investigation into the legal implications of this. So you’re saying that there are legal implications?
JUDGE NAPOLITANO: I’m saying there are profound legal implications because you have to swear under oath the second document, the one you just identified, is the basis for the prosecution of Gen. Petraeus, who signed the same document the day he left the CIA and, he says, he forgot he had loose leafs in his drawer in his home, and when the FBI raided his home, they found them there and that’s what he’s going to plead guilty to — the possession of documents that belong to the government in his home.

Later in the segment, Charles Krauthammer chimed in with this perspective:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It’s not over. It’s got legs. It’s got long legs. It’s got legs because the AP has now sued the State Department to get access to her e-mails, because three committees in the House are going to sue to get access or subpoena her e-mails because we are now in a position where we’re arguing over what is the proper meaning of the word is.

I said that a week ago and I did it as a joke. With the Clintons, you can’t make this stuff up. We are actually returning to it depends what the meaning of the word is is. And I think what the Judge is explaining, what Shannen Coffin, who used to work at the Justice Department, has raised, is a very serious issue. If she did not sign the document, then what she did, the one on separation, then what she did is to leave without turning over government documents, which I believe is a felony.

I don’t see how you could interpret it either way. If she signed it, it’s perjury. If she didn’t, then she left with government documents, which is illegal. So, now we have the legal issues. I’m sure the Clintons will invent a parsing of the words, it depends what a document means, it depends what is is, but I do want to say one thing about what the Obama people are saying in astonishment. I suspect that what the hell is a loose translation of what they actually said.

Hillary’s tortured performance at the hastily-arranged news conference left people with the nauseated feeling that she thinks the laws don’t apply to her and that people should trust her because she’s the political equivalent of a celebrity.

People have long talked about her as a great politician, that it was only a matter of time until she rose to this nation’s highest office. In the minds of many, this was just assumed. That’s foolish. She isn’t the nimble-footed politician that her husband is. She’s wooden, lawyerly, scripted. She’s Al Gore in a pant suit.

At some point, this controversy will get old. That’s inevitable. The question that’s important in all this is whether her credibility will still be intact. I’m betting it won’t be. Throughout her public life, Hillary’s highest poll results have happened when she’s been silent. That isn’t coincidental. Think of it from the perspective of this old cliché: Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

The times she’s gotten into the biggest trouble have been when she’s come out of hiding. During last spring’s book tour, which was supposed to be the launch of her presidential campaign, she stumbled badly and repeatedly until it got to the point that she had to leave the stage and cancel most of the book tour stops.

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