The War Room is so good, as a political document, as a picture of politics in the 1990s, as a behind-the-scenes of a revolutionary campaign, as just the kind of movie you need to give you a little faith in this year’s presidential election.
CHRIS HAYES: The e-mails we got today, as bad as Watergate or worse than Watergate? Your thoughts?
JAMES CARVILLE: My question is, will this rise to the level of scandal as the White House Christmas card list back in the ‘90s that had 140 hours of sworn testimony. This is the great gefilte fish day.
HAYES: I – wait a second, we were doing a series, at some point, of Hillary Clinton for millennials about the sort of various faux Clinton scandals. I had forgotten the Christmas card list. Which one was that?
CARVILLE: I just was reminded, as they came on the air, that there was 140 – the Clintons sent out Christmas cards to supporters and friends, and that Congress spent 140 hours of sworn testimony. I don’t know how much people had to pay in legal fees, and God knows whatnot, but that ranks up there at the top. And the question is, will this e-mail scandal rise to that level? And so far, today, it looks like it probably won’t. It’s kind of petering out every day.
HAYES: Okay, you – the reference to Christmas cards brings up the fact that for several decades in American life, whatever Bill and Hillary Clinton have done has been followed by ceaseless accusations of wrongdoing, malfeasance, corruption, coverup, deception, scandal, illegality et cetera. And the big central question is, is this because of their enemies or is it because of something they do? Is it really your position that it’s 100 percent their enemies that we find ourselves in these situations?
CARVILLE: 100 percent, maybe 97.2 percent. I don’t know. I think that the Clintons basically are better people than their enemies. Look at their number one enemy, Ken Star, who is, you know, now has a hell of a problem with rape down there, Baylor or whoever he is. You know, he used to be a cigarette lawyer. And he was the great icon of the Washington establishment.
Well, we kind of know about that. Bill Clinton is going to be probably one of the most successful post-war presidents, I guess, the third, second most popular human being on the planet now. And we go through these things all of the time. And of course the New York Times and the Washington Post and the cocktail party, the dinner party crowd, they get all out of breath and screaming and yelling at each other and it turns out to be nothing.
HAYES: Yeah, that was something that got tremendous amounts of congressional investigation, there’s Trey Gowdy’s committee. Ultimately, I think, every iteration of investigation has said that there were genuine security failures and a horrible tragedy and basically that is it.
CARVILLE: And Admiral Mullen and Ambassador Pickering said that right away. We haven’t learned a single new thing. You know, in the entire Bill Clinton administration in eight years, one person was ever convicted of anything, and I think it was a deputy, a chief of staff or secretary of agriculture and it involved Super Bowl tickets. And that’s all that they have at the end of the day.
You would think that at some point people who are supposed to know better would learn their lesson. But they never do, and so therefore, I have to keep coming out of retirement to point this kind of stuff out.
Caption:The Clintons laughing at yet another GOP witch-hunt.
Does the e-mail scandal compare to the White House Christmas card list in the 1990s that had 140 hours of sworn testimony?
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