Hillary Clinton — the only tangible potential Democratic presidential nominee so far — certainly has the experience and moxie to make a major push for the White House come 2016.
After years of charming America as the First Lady, a successful stint as a senator of New York state and an intense shift as Secretary of State, Clinton has proven her ability in the political battlefield.
Recently, Clinton has been receiving quite a bit of time in the national limelight for her run as Secretary of State during President Obama’s first term of administration.
Throughout this period, she had been sending official emails through an account on a personal server back at her home in Westchester County, N.Y.
The golden rule of politics is this: Perception is reality.
Republicans have done an astounding job of blowing Clinton’s actions out of proportion.
Republican Senator of Iowa Chuck Grassley even went so far as to say that Clinton’s actions “probably violate national security legislation.”
To determine the legality of using private email on a private server for official government purposes, we need to examine the relevant national laws.
These include the Federal Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the National Archives and Records of Administration and the U.S. Crimes and Criminal Procedures Code.
None of these documents state that using personal communication for such matters is a crime, if the proper records are kept.
Again, Clinton did keep a record of all her email transactions, thus showing that she never stepped outside the law.
It is worth noting that as of 2014, the Federal Records Act was revised to mandate all government employees to transfer personal email records to government servers within 20 days.
But, of course, this was well after Clinton left her post as Secretary of State.
While it’s safe to say that she didn’t actually violate any federal laws, there is an ethical argument to what Clinton’s detractors say.
Using a personal email as opposed to an official one is unprofessional, and that’s certainly not how you want the most powerful person in the world, your country’s most prominent representative, to appear.
In fact, the way Clinton said she only used her private emails “for convenience” may swing voters into thinking she may not be the strong female that she has portrayed in the past.
However, one reason to applaud Clinton is the way she handled this situation.
She made all the right statements about security and transparency that just might foreshadow how she will handle major crises when in office.
She has stated numerous times that all the correct precautions were made to her server to protect it from hackers.
Furthermore, she has expressed her desire to share her emails with the public, even though the Benghazi committee has parsed through everything and revealed only some email interactions to the public.
The overarching question remains: how is this going to effect Clinton’s presidential bid?
Again, perception is reality.
Even though this incident should blow by — especially in light of the comments Clinton made — it probably will, if only slightly, affect her chances of election.
She’s lucky that it is still very early in the election cycle and this incident won’t have the same downward effect as, say, when it was brought to light during the Florida primaries that Mitt Romney was hiding millions of dollars in the Cayman Islands.
Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a potential Republican presidential candidate, will be further impacted by his purported involvement in the Bridgegate scandal back in 2013.
One thing that’s certain, however, is that Clinton’s presidential run surely won’t be defined by this small blip from her past.