Hillary Clinton's success was the big story this week, but one element of her work is underappreciated. She has successfully monetized her government "service" in a way few others can imagine, let alone claim.
Millions of dollars have poured into her personal and foundation bank accounts for paid speeches by herself and her husband that took just minutes to deliver. The money can be thought of as a down payment on future influence, a form of open corruption.
But a substantial amount also came from parties that already had specific interests before her State Department. This includes favor-seekers, both foreign (Russian uranium interests) and domestic (such as Laureate Education, a for-profit university which paid Bill Clinton $16.5 million as it raked in $55 million in grants from her State Department).
But there's more than one angle to the Clintons' sale of access to power. That's called patronage. As the Washington Examiner's Sarah Westwood reported on Friday, Clinton's State Department hired an unqualified person, Rajiv Fernando, to a seat on the International Security Advisory Board. He had no qualifications in the field of security, but he had given $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
A certain number of positions at State, mostly ambassadorships to nonstrategic countries, are routinely gifted as bonbons to big donors. It's tacky but not dangerous if the country is stable and friendly. But this is not one of those positions, and employees at the State Department recognized it immediately.
Newly released emails from State, obtained by Citizens United, show that when ABC News demanded a copy of Fernando's resume to establish his qualifications, there was a freak-out behind the scenes.
"[I]t appears there is much more to this story that we're unaware of," a State Department press aide wrote after receiving ABC's request. "We must protect the Secretary's and Under Secretary's name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it's important to get down to the bottom of this before there's any response."
Another staffer at State wrote back: "The true answer is simply that [Cheryl Mills, Clinton's chief of staff] added him ... Raj was not on the list sent to [Clinton's office]; he was added at their insistence."
So the decision to reward this major Clinton foundation donor was Clinton's.
Fernando served briefly and was the only person on the panel who had no experience in national security.
This is a reminder of the obvious — water is wet, the pope is Catholic, and Hillary Clinton corruptly exploits the perquisites of power.
Sometimes it's good to be reminded of the obvious. Voters, facing a grim choice in this year's presidential race, need to remember, when discussion is of a candidate's "fitness for office" that Clinton has proved herself unfit again and again and again.