This morning what I'm reading is "Chelsea Clinton’s Frustrations and Devotion Shown in Hacked Emails," by Amy Chozick. I assume the damaging material — which would be right up front in a Trump article — begins to appear many paragraphs down. I'm not going to tarry at the mushy beginning. (The first paragraph reads like a children's book: "Chelsea Clinton was alarmed.")
So let's skip ahead:
Though her housecleaning role had Hillary Clinton’s tacit approval (“My mother strongly agreed,” Ms. Clinton said in one email laying out proposed changes at the foundation)....Ugh! Not far enough! (But let me just say that language-oriented feminists would chide Chozick for that "housecleaning" metaphor.)
Ms. Clinton, 31 at the time, had held various jobs, including positions at McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital, a hedge fund owned by a major Clinton donor. She had degrees from Stanford, Oxford and Columbia but had not quite found a way to harness all of her academic wherewithal...Translation: Chelsea was at loose ends, drifting, unable or unwilling to make anything out of her long and very elite education. The word "wherewithal" is particularly silly, especially with the mixed-metaphor verb "harness." "Wherewithal," the noun, is usually a polysyllabic way to say money. The unnecessary reaching for polysyllabic words is an old-fashioned form of humor. H.W. Fowler cautioned against it all the way back in 1908. What is this urge, suddenly, to write like George Eliot or Charles Dickens? They were not bullshitting us. Are you?
And the funny thing is, Chozick sees that Chelsea Clinton is dipping into inane polysyllababble*:
Ms. Clinton often gravitated to weighty policy discussions and interspersed statistics and SAT words into casual conversations."SAT words" is putting it kindly. Why would a 31-year-old woman who went to Stanford, Oxford,** and Columbia use words like "anathema" and "behemoth"*** so badly, and why would the only offspring of Bill and Hillary Clinton even feel the need to try to impress her parents in the first place? What did they do to deserve it? Does it have anything to do with why Chelsea was at loose ends so late in her privileged life and why they installed her in their charitable operation?
Hours after the 2012 attack on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya, she mused about the unrest in Egypt and Libya in a late-night email to her mother. “Such anathema to us as Americans — and a painful reminder of how long it took modernism to take root in the U.S., after the Enlightenment, the 14th, 15th, 16th, 19th amendments,” she wrote. “Much to discuss when we talk, hopefully tomorrow?”
In another email addressed to “Dad, Mom,” Ms. Clinton seemed apologetic, writing, “I hope this mini-behemoth is not rife with grammatical errors or inadvertent gaps; I am sorry if either true.”
Now, the meat of the Chozick piece is the "cascade of grievances, gossip and infighting" that the installation of Chelsea unleashed at the foundation:
Ms. Clinton had already started to fret about the intermingling of foundation business with Teneo, the corporate consulting firm co-founded by Douglas J. Band, one of her father’s closest aides. She suggested an audit of the charity and wrote that she was concerned that Teneo’s principals had been “hustling” business at foundation gatherings....Band fought back with a 13-page memo about all the millions he'd raised for the foundation and Bill Clinton:
“We have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the president and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like,” Mr. Band wrote.That is buried in the center of Chozick's piece, which proceeds into some fluff about a note "from the Bon Jovis" and Bill Clinton "buying clorox wipes" and Chelsea's feeling "profoundly disturbed" about the Haitian earthquake. Remember the headline: The idea is to leave you with an amorphous, generalized empathy for Chelsea with her frustrations and daughterly devotion.
The subtext was clear: Where Ms. Clinton saw a messy overlapping of business and charity that could haunt both of her parents, Mr. Band saw an ungrateful daughter who was naïve about how what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.” made its money, and how her own expensive lifestyle was funded.
“I just don’t think any of this is right and that we should be treated this way when no one else is, only because CVC has nothing better to do and need justify her existence,” he wrote in one email, using the initials for Chelsea Victoria Clinton. Mr. Band, who had already planned to leave the foundation to focus on Teneo, often expressed frustration at the global charity’s nepotism, pointing to Ms. Clinton’s installing her friends in central roles....
But the story from the leaked emails is about the inner workings of the Clinton foundation — how the Clintons got rich finagling in a way that Band justified and Chelsea seems to have been able to see was quite wrong.
* I just coined that word, polysyllababble. But Google tells me it has been used twice before in the history of mankind as revealed by the internet, so let's just say I discovered it independently and I'm surprised I'm in a group as small as 3.
** Note that I, unlike Chozick, use the Oxford comma after "Oxford."
*** The Oxford English Dictionary defines "behemoth" as "An animal mentioned in the book of Job; probably the hippopotamus; but also used in modern literature as a general expression for one of the largest and strongest animals."