Late Tuesday evening the State Department released almost 2,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state. While there was no “smoking gun” regarding the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the latest round of emails gives a look at who she was emailing with, more insight into her daily activities at State — and some daily struggles.
Clinton has said she has turned over some 30,000 emails, or 55,000 pages worth, to the State Department from her personal, private email server that housed the emails. Last month, a federal judge ordered the State Department to release batches of Clinton’s emails every 30 days through Jan 29, 2016 — just days before the Iowa caucuses; Tuesday’s 1,925 emails totaling more than 3,000 pages were the inaugural release.
You can read the full first batch here from the State Department. Below are some of the 13 best:
1. David Axelrod tries to, and eventually does, email Clinton
Even though President Obama’s former top adviser told MSNBC earlier this year he wasn’t aware Clinton had used her personal email exclusively, he did email her staff asking for her email. He then went on to email the secretary on her personal email, wishing her a speedy recovery after she fractured her elbow in a fall.
2. Barbara Mikulski & women power
The Maryland Democratic senator also emailed Clinton after her fall, advising her: “Be careful. Do the therapy. Get well.” She also invited the former New York senator to the monthly gathering of the Senate women. Making a few typos, Mikulski sympathized over “how streddful” the injury must be. “Oh my, imagine getting dressed and the. Hair thing.”
3. Cabinet meeting? Without me?
Back at the beginning of her tenure, Clinton heard on the radio (NPR, perhaps?) that there was a Cabinet meeting at the White House she knew nothing about. Not to worry, though, it wasn’t a full Cabinet meeting.
4. Clinton, stood up
Another time, Clinton did arrive at the White House for a meeting — that had been canceled. “This is the second time this has happened. What’s up???” she wrote to her aides.
5. Be more like Kissinger?
In one email to aide Philippe Reines, Clinton pondered whether it was bad she saw Obama only once a week, while former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger saw President Richard Nixon every day. However, she admitted, those were very different circumstances.
6. Out of the loop with “WJC”
When former President Clinton agreed to be the U.N.’s special envoy to Haiti, apparently his wife — and the White House — were among the last to know.
7. Blumenthal worries
Many of Clinton’s emails come from her longtime aide Sidney Blumenthal. While he was blocked by the White House from an official role at the State Department, because administration officials suspected him of spreading rumors about Obama during their 2008 primary fight, it’s clear he was still involved. His closeness to the secretary was a concern among her allies and how it was perceived by the press. The Clinton Foundation would later pay Blumenthal $10,000 per month.
8. The “price” of doing business
George LeMieux, the former Florida GOP interim senator, had objected to confirming Thomas Shannon as the U.S. ambassador to Brazil. When her aides finally got him to drop his hold, Clinton joked, “What took them so long? Did you promise your first born” and later sarcastically speculated if “this mean[s] you have to go to Cuba and arrest Castro or just shovel more $ into Little Havana?”
9. Fax machine tribulations
Those things are confusing: Which way do you put the sheet in? Do you pick up the phone or not? Dial 9? Too many things going on!
10. Nice coat!
While her staff has chastised reporters before for focusing on Clinton’s clothes, when she made a trip to Afghanistan in 2009, her spokesman P.J. Crowley emailed that he loved the coat she was wearing upon her arrival — and that it had even sparked an online poll at Huffington Post on thoughts about the coat. At present, its favorability is at nearly 82 percent — much higher than Clinton’s ratings, which have tumbled over the past year.
Stop all the twittering immediately!
12. Afternoon tea time
Who among us hasn’t had a midday craving?
13. Christmas in July?
Inquiring minds want to know, who exactly is “Santa” in this email?