Margaret Eby
March 05, 2015 3:31 pm

There’s been much ado this week about Hillary Clinton’s email address. To get you up to speed, during her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address instead of a government address, which is a big no-no under federal statutes that require officials to have their correspondence archived and conducted through government accounts.

When the news broke earlier this week, there was much talk about how it might impact Clinton’s nascent presidential bid, because seeming like you’re keeping secrets is a bad look for a candidate (even if it ends up not being true), and it echoes something that the Clintons are often accused of: Not being transparent in their dealings.

So yesterday Clinton responded, via Twitter, to the scandal.

Her tweet is definitely a good start — an acknowledgement that the email kerfuffle is a big deal to her supporters. But is it enough? After all, the problem isn’t that Clinton refused to turn over any emails. Her aides had already forked over 55,000 emails from her personal account to archivists.

The problem is that we don’t know what criteria was used to sort those business emails, and what might be held back. That’s sort of the point of having more than one email account: One is on the record, and the other doesn’t have to be. All of this is to say that her opponents and critics can still hit Clinton on transparency even if everyone in the country were to see every single one of the emails that she turns over.

Just listen to Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short: “Hillary Clinton must think we’re all suckers,” he told USA Today. “The fact that Hillary Clinton set up a ‘homebrewed’ email system in her house to skirt federal recordkeeping regulations is a pretty good indicator of just how transparent she’s interested in being,”

Ouch. As unfair as that is, that’s the way that the scandal could play out politically. So even making her emails available to the public? It could be too little, too late. But then again, Hillary is nothing if not tough and smart. She’s come back from worse.

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