The public is undoubtedly hoping to learn a lot from the first round of Hillary Clinton emails that were released Friday, with about 850 pages detailing Clinton's time before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi. But though there was a lot of useful information in the emails that included policies, strategies, and confidential memos, there also were random tidbits scattered throughout the 296 emails. Like, for example, from what I can tell, Clinton is not the biggest fan of technology. A good amount of the emails were simply her asking staff members to print something off. I can just imagine the binders she has, categorized by important memos or friendly correspondence. Those binders are definitely not full of women — Mitt Romney, take note.
There are some important things to take away from these emails, such as the fact there was a credible threat against the hotel the Clinton team was using in June 2011. There were also a few fairly boring emails, including the requests to print, the forwarding of news articles written by various publications, and staffers' penchant for replying to emails with just "Interesting." But as the State Department itself said, "The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks." So, there's really nothing groundbreaking in this first round of emails, at least.
There are, however, some funny, odd and random takeaways that make reading the hundreds of pages at least semi-worth it.
Boys With Guns
In an March 30, 2011, email from Anne-Marie Slaughter — then director of policy planning — to Clinton, Slaughter expressed that she was dubious about arming the Libyan rebels. When Clinton asked why, Slaughter reasoned the next day that she's not generally a fan of giving guns to an already disorganized society. But then she added this very generalized kicker, "Boys like to play with guns (trust me as the mother of sons)."
After receiving a confidential memo in an April 8, 2011, email, Clinton forwarded it to former deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin with a shorthand request, saying, "Pls print." Nothing more to see here.
What Doesn't Kill You
In a Dec. 20, 2012, email to Thomas Nides — former deputy secretary of state for management and resources — Clinton got her Kanye on and said, "Well, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, as I have rationalized for years)..." Nides had said he wasn't looking forward to the day, which apparently was a Benghazi hearing where the State Department admitted it had made mistakes.
"Wish I Could Tell U"
Can you even imagine sending an email to Clinton? How many times would you read and re-read it to ensure there are no errors? Well, in the previous Dec. 20, 2012, email Nides sent Clinton, he got way too casual for an email to the secretary of state, writing, "Thanks I wish I could tell u I am looking forward to this but it would be a lie!" Don't use "u" for "you," kids.
Good 'Ol Sid
Sidney Blumenthal — former aide to President Bill Clinton who was not a State Department employee at the time of the emails — apparently wants people to really know who the email is from in case they couldn't glean it from the "From:" section. Blumenthal signed nearly all of his email subject lines with his name. For example, "Subject: H: Great to see you Drop in again. Here's Libya. Sid" in an Oct. 6, 2012, email and "Subject: H: Libya, latest Benghazi intel. Sid" in an Dec. 10, 2012, email.
An Aug. 21, 2011, email with the subject line "tick tock on libya," which I'm assuming is a hint to get quickly moving on developing a memo that showed Clinton's leadership on Libya, was sent. Nearly two weeks later, in a Sept. 3, 2011, email, Clinton forwarded the message, stating, "Pls print for me." Not very timely, Hillary.
Step Up Your Game, Mitt
In early October 2012, Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed criticizing the Obama administration using the Benghazi attacks as an example to say Obama is weak on terrorism. The op-ed was circulated around, and Jacob Sullivan — Clinton's former deputy chief of staff — wrote in an Oct. 1, 2012, email, "This is it. Pretty uncompelling piece if you ask me, but of course I'm biased."
Let's Hope Cheryl Has A Driver
Clinton emailed Cheryl Mills — then Clinton's counselor and chief of staff — asking her if she could talk on the phone. In an Oct. 14, 2012, email, Mills responded, "In car driving so can in a bit." I hope Mills meant someone else was driving her, so she couldn't talk in private. Emailing while driving is a huge no-no.
Monica Langley's Interview
On Oct. 10, 2012, Clinton had an interview with Monica Langley of The Wall Street Journal. According to emails sent on Oct. 11, 2012, it was quite an ... interesting experience. Staffers Philippe Reines, Caroline Adler, and Nides joked around about a fake transcript Adler wrote that described Langley as acting like her "usual wacky self." It included bits like, "Oh Hillary...what do you eat? drink? dream about when you sleep?" and "Monica again touches HRC's leg:: ," which caused Nides to reply, "I may go and throw up since I am laughing so hard." Although, they did admit it was a great interview.
In a Nov. 13, 2012, email, Mills apparently had to have what I'm guessing she meant is a "come-to-Jesus" moment with some staffers. Clinton had asked how the hearings were going, and Mills responded, "Just starting had to have a little come to with some of our colleagues but folks now on board." Get it together, guys.
This Email Signature
South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan sent an email on Nov. 14, 2012, asking people to cosign a letter he was writing to the president to oppose the possible nomination of Susan Rice for secretary of state. Mills forwarded it to Clinton with a quick FYI, but the best part was the way Duncan had signed his email: "Yours in Liberty." Ugh.
Images: foia.state.gov (11)