In the wake of the revelations of Peter Schweizer’s new book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, even such stalwart liberal Democratic advocates as the New York Times editorial page, the Washington Post editorial page, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, and Daily Beast columnist Eleanor Clift are all distancing themselves from the Clintons.
So it must be getting a little bit lonely in the Clinton Bunker. But at least Bill and Hill still have one staunch defender who can see no wrong in them: Chris Ruddy.
Now wait just a second! the attentive reader might object. You mean the same Chris Ruddy, the founder and editor-in-chief of Newsmax, who was once one of the leading conservative critics of the Clintons in the 90s? Yup, that’s him. He’s the one. Times sure do change.
Indeed, Ruddy now finds the Clintons so delightful that he donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. In fact,you can read about Ruddy’s gift right on the Clinton Foundation’s website.
Yet that spot of good news aside, for the most part, though, each day’s news reports are bringing a new cascade of calamity for the Clintons: Even the liberal-leaning Bloomberg is reporting that the Clintons tried to hide 1100 donors to their foundation—that’s not good. And the even more liberal Politico is headlining, “Clinton Foundation in campaign tailspin: Donors are having second thoughts about big giving as accusations fly about Hillary Clinton’s role.” And Politico’s Ken Vogel went on the far-left MSNBC to deliver a stinging verdict: Hillary’s scandals, he said, are “not going away.”
Meanwhile, National Journal’s Ron Fournier, no conservative, headlined his recent piece, “Hillary Clinton: Congenital Rule-Breaker.” Fournier, who has covered the Clintons since the 80s in Arkansas, was blunt,
Hillary Clinton doesn’t play by the rules. That’s not a partisan attack. It’s not a talking point. It’s not a fantasy. It’s a fact—an agonizing truth to people like me who admire Clinton and her husband.
And yes, all this criticism from friends is taking its toll on Hillary’s ratings: A new polling report was headlined: “AP-GfK Poll: Doubts about Clinton’s honesty.”
So when Bill and Hillary survey their news clips, the latest from Chris Ruddy’s Newsmax must look like pretty good to them. Here’s a headline from Newsmax that they surely liked: “Chris Ruddy: Lots of Clinton Smoke, but Where’s the Fire?”
Yes, it did cause a ripple when Ruddy went from fierce Clinton-phobe to equally fierce Clinton-phile. The headline in Politico read, “Chris Ruddy defends Clinton Foundation,” and The Washington Post, too, noted Ruddy’s “full-throated defense” of the Clintons.
Of course, in some ways, the Clintons have been attractive to some conservatives. After all, as a “New Democrat,” Bill Clinton pulled the Democrats to the right in the 90s. But today, two decades later, Hillary, who was never on board with New Democrats like Bill, is moving back toward kneejerk liberalism as she seeks to secure her left flank while running for the Democratic nomination. As Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt has reported, “In the three weeks since the official launch of her second presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has been moving left in a hurry.”
In other words, the Clinton that Chris Ruddy is defending in 2015 is far to the left of the Clinton that Ruddy was attacking in 1995. So yes, Ruddy’s sudden infatuation is all the more strange.
Someday, someone will come along and explain why Ruddy abandoned conservatism in favor of Clintonism.
Here, for example, is National Review’s Jonah Goldberg to provide some context:
I once had a boss who gave me some great advice, not just for managing people but for judging politicians: You forgive mistakes; you punish patterns. Everybody screws up. But if someone won’t learn from his mistakes and try to correct his behavior, then he either doesn’t think it was a mistake, he just doesn’t care, or he thinks you’re a fool. The one indisputable takeaway from Peter Schweizer’s new book, Clinton Cash, is that Bill and Hillary Clinton fit one or all of those descriptions.
Now it will be noted that, strictly speaking, Goldberg intended for those three possibilities to apply to the Clintons, not Ruddy. That is, a) they don’t think it was a mistake, b) they don’t care, or c) they think everyone else is a fool. So the mystery is What Happened to Chris Ruddy? One of them must explain Chris, as well as Hillary.