What We Can Infer From Clinton's Use of 2 Planes

Jim Rutenberg sees a transparency problem
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2016 9:30 AM CDT
What We Can Infer From Clinton's Use of 2 Planes
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton boards her campaign plane at Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno, Nev., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

It's been a campaign tradition for the last half-decade or so, at least until Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump quashed it. Both travel with two sets of planes, with the press corps relegated to No. 2. "A pox on both their jetliners," Jim Rutenberg declares at the New York Times. But he takes a much bigger issue with Clinton's decision to do so—yes, even in the face of Trump revoking press credentials and vowing to "open up" libel laws. That's because for all that, Trump vastly outpaces Clinton when it comes to press accessibility. In terms of the plane, it's not just about having first-hand accounts that come from an impartial party. "Ultimately, it’s about whether we truly believe in the premise that transparency is vital for democracy."

Clinton has given the public apologies regarding her use of a personal email server while secretary of state, but in Rutenberg's view, she hasn't followed that up with "any new show of openness." He writes, "Right now, every signal from Mrs. Clinton is that should she win, her administration would continue the tradition of being still more secretive than the one before it." Rutenberg was told by Clinton's press secretary that she's given some 350 interviews, but an NPR review of them found about 20% weren't with journalists; about half were with local TV and radio. As Rutenberg sees it, a candidate who wants to keep the press at bay is one who "presumably doesn’t want to be transparent with his or her many millions of viewers and readers—with you." Read his full column, complete with the wish that Clinton be a bit more like Mitt Romney, at the Times. (More Election 2016 stories.)

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