Hillary Clinton probably didn’t do herself any favors on Meet the Press on Sunday when she told host Chuck Todd that the controversial email server she used as Secretary of State wasn’t hers. The server belonged, she said, to her husband Bill Clinton. The server was “already there,” Clinton said. “It is the system that my husband’s personal office used when he got out of the White House.”
While the claim may be technically correct, it presents two “optics” problems that Hillary Clinton has tried to avoid in her presidential campaign. First, she appears to be passing the buck instead of taking responsibility. That elicits subtitles like “It wasn’t me, really” in articles even in Hillary-friendly places like The Huffington Post. (Not presidential: President Harry S. Truman’s most lasting personal impression was the sign on his desk that read “The Buck Stops Here.”) Second, in putting the server business in Bill Clinton’s lap, she allies herself with the former president in a way that makes them again seem like a team — a buy-one, get-two scenario that polls indicate Americans don’t want.