State Department photo/public domain
This week, The Washington Free Beacon published a story by Alana Goodman based on excerpts from the papers of Deeda Blair, an intimate friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton, under the headine, "The Hillary Papers: Archive of Closest Friend Paints Portrait of Ruthless First Lady."
Media filters -- censors -- went haywire attempting to downplay and dismiss the findings (NBC's Andrea Mitchell admitted on "Morning Joe" that she had argued against NBC even mentioning the Free Beacon story), which are of interest given the source: Hillary Clinton's best friend. That is, the evidence has long and redundantly demonstrated that Hillary Rodham Clinton is "ruthless" -- Goodman finds the adjective in a heretofore unpublished 1992 report by Clinton presidential campaign pollsters Stan Greenberg and Celinda Lake -- but confirmation, the odd eye-witness detail from a bosom friend cum insider is significant.
There was, however, one actual piece of real news, which I didn't notice the first time I scanned the story. It is buried way down after the headings "Sex Files," "All Those Whiny Women," "You Are Entering a World of Pain." Only then does "Single Payer Necessary" appear.
On Feb. 23, 1993, Blair joined the Clintons for a family dinner at the White House. The subject of health care reform came up.
“At dinner, [Hillary] to [Bill] at length on the complexities of health care—thinks managed competition a crock; single-payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare,” Blair wrote.
The account is at odds with public statements by the former First Lady that she never supported the single-payer option.
In an interview with the New York Times as she ran for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton said she had never seriously considered adopting a single-payer system, in which the government, using funds appropriated from taxpayers, pays for all health care expenses.
“You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single payer system,” said Clinton in the interview.
Flash: Hillary isn't just ruthless, she's a liar (a congenital liar, as the late William Safire schooled us), too.
This isn't exactly news, either, but in the context of the ongoing government takeover of medicine by an increasingly dictatorial and king-like president whom Hillary wishes to succeed (Queen Hillary I?), it is surely newsworthy, and deserved greater play than, for example, the story's lead item: a handwritten note from Blair in response to the first surfacing of the Kathleen Willey story, asking, "Do we take Matt Drudge seriously?" (Maybe in the age of all-important Internet news links, the news lede is written not to grab a reader with the most important info but rather to grab the all-important redistribution hub, such as Drudge Report.)
Hillary's full quotation:
You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single payer system. Obviously, I listened to arguments about its advantages and disadvantages, and many people who I have a great deal of respect for certainly think that it is the only way to go. But I said, as you quoted me, that we had to do what would appeal to and actually coincide with what the body politic will and political coalition building was. So I think if you look at most public opinion surveys, even from groups of people who you would think would be pretty positive towards single payer, Americans have a very skeptical attitude. They don’t really know that Medicare is a single payer system. They don’t really think about that. They think about these foreign countries that they hear all these stories about, whether they’re true or not, which they’re often not. And so talking about single payer really is a conversation ender for most Americans, because then they become very nervous about socialized medicine and all the rest of this. So I never really seriously considered it.
Blair's eye-witness account that privately Hillary Clinton "thinks ... single-payer necessary" is, indeed, as the Free Beacon notes, "at odds" with Hillary's categorical public statement to the New York Times: "I never seriously considered a single payer system."
Who would not take the bet that Clinton was lying in her public statement to the New York Times, and that Blair was faithfully jotting down recollections of the her pal's dinner table discussion?
According to Blair, Hillary Clinton believed managed competition was "a crock," and single payer was "necessary," maybe as an addition to Medicare.
Of course, we know the Clintons are not only liars, they are also parsing liars. Could one have believed single payer was "necessary" and also have "never really seriously considered" it -- or, rather, have "never really seriously considered" saying so publicly?
As Clinton concluded to the NYT in 2008: "Talking about single payer really is a conversation ender for most Americans, because then they become very nervous about socialized medicine and all the rest of this. So I never really seriously considered it."
I never really seriously considered ... talking about single payer/socialized medicine. Maybe that's what Clinton was obliquely telling us.
Much better to push so-called managed competition -- "a crock," as she knew back in 1993 -- and still get to socialized medicine eventually.
Ruthless. Lying. And deceptive.
The revered Democrat frontrunner.