Hillary Clinton’s emails have been a subject of partisan finger-pointing and hand-wringing since the revelation in April that she had used a private home-brew server to store her messages during the four years she was secretary of state.
On Tuesday the State Department released the first in a series of document-dumps comprising about 3,000 of the 55,000 pages Clinton turned over to State late last year.
They describe the ordinary and the shocking – everything from ordinary meeting recaps to the involvement in the agency of Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton’s 2008 election hatchet-man who had officially been exiled from the administration.
They also paint the onetime first lady and New York senator as technologically maladroit – she was all thumbs with an office fax machine – and distant enough from her husband Bill that their aides kept each informed about the other’s doings.
She used her email to let aides know she was thirsy. ‘Pls call Sarah and ask her if she can get me some iced tea,’ one message read.
And then there’s ‘Santa’ – an unknown person apparently on Clinton’s meeting schedule.
‘I’m seeing Santa at 8:30,’ she wrote her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin six months after taking office, ‘so won’t take off until closer to 9:30.’
Despite the collective shock inside the D.C. beltway when news surfaced that Clinton had a secret email account, many of Washington’s most influential Democrats were already in on it.
Political operative David Axelrod had her email address almost from the start, but claimed just weeks ago that he was unaware of it.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel wrote to her at the now-infamous ‘HDR22@clintonemail.com.’
So did outgoing Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, liberal think tank chief John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, and lawyer-lobbyist Lanny Davis – who was later shamed for taking millions from West African strongmen.