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January 18, 2008

The Records Of Change

If Hillary Clinton wants to cast herself as the candidate of change, the IBD editorial board notes, she has a perfectly applicable project to highlight, complete with as many as three million pages of documentation. Why not produce the entire record of the Health Care Task Force? Their question came one day before the answer:

The last time Sen. Clinton was a genuine agent of change was when she led the secretive

Health Care Task Force in 1993-94 that labored mightily to propose a Godzilla-size bureaucracy that would have nationalized one-seventh of the nation's economy. To receive medical care you would have gone to the equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

That proposal was one of the key factors in the GOP tsunami of 1994. She helped Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. The universal health care she proposes now is virtually unchanged from her original dream of turning the U.S. into Canada.

After the health care debacle, Hillary slipped, or was pushed, below the radar. We don't know much about her "experience" as "co-president," largely because reams of calendars, memos and other records remain under seal until after this year's election.

This editorial appeared on Wednesday evening. Twenty-four hours later, Judicial Watch supplied a partial answer to the question by publishing a smattering of the memos they have managed to wrest from the archives. The three memos they highlighted came from the 13,000 records publicly available now, out of more than 3 million still locked away from public oversight.

Why have they not been released? The memo from Jay Rockefeller detailing suggestions to smear opponents of the nationalization of health care certainly explains why Hillary may not want to get identified as an agent of that kind of change. It hearkens back to the Nixonian approach of using the government to destroy the reputations of its critics, mostly through innuendo and extortion.

IBD points out that Hillary doesn't have much of a record of change since the doomed Task Force. She has served in the Senate for seven years, openly planning to run for the White House in 2008. However, she hasn't bothered to generate even one piece of major legislation in that time period; at least Kerry authored six bills in 20 years. Her most well-known actions in the Senate are voting for an authorization to use military force (she later claimed not to understand what "authorization", "use", and "military force" meant), and to give a million-dollar earmark to the Woodstock Museum.

If Hillary won't open the records for the one effort that demonstrates her direction on change, what does that tell American voters?


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