Days of Wine and Donuts: Four Revealing Food-and-Drink Moments From Hillary Clinton's Leaked Emails

Jul 06 2016

Days of Wine and Donuts: Four Revealing Food-and-Drink Moments From Hillary Clinton’s Leaked Emails

July 6th, 2016

On Monday, WikiLeaks tweeted a link to a selection of 1,258 emails about the Iraq War, from the trove of leaked private emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton when she was US Secretary of State.

While the mass of emails were made available by WikiLeaks in February, the tweet of this specific selection was timed to today’s release of the Chilcot report, which investigated the legality of the UK’s involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The New York Times today described the report as offering a “devastating critique of Tony Blair.”

The tweet also followed FBI director James Comey’s announcement yesterday that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a criminal case against Clinton for using a personal email server as Secretary of State and that his organization found “no intentional misconduct”—although he did criticize her behavior as “extremely careless.”

The Justice department will now make the final decision as to whether to bring charges against Clinton. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said that she expects to follow the FBI’s recommendation.

The leaked emails sent to and from”” provide some fascinating glimpses into the personality and entourage of the presidential front-runner. Here are four of them:

1. Donuts Demonstrate Respect for Working People

Neera Tanden, who helped Hillary Clinton on her 2008 campaign and is predicted as a likely candidate for Chief of Staff in a Clinton presidency, just can’t let Clinton’s loss to Obama go.
On September 7, 2010 she emailed Clinton to tell her that Michelle Obama (whom she refers to as “fl”for “First lady”) had once told her that:
“the single event you did on the campaign that scared them the most was bringing donuts to the shift change [at a Chrystler plant in Toledo] at 4 in the morning, because it crystallized your respect for working people and communicated to people how hard you were willing to work for them. I know Presidents can’t do that, but….”
Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, a highly-influential liberal think-tank, was in the news recently for a twitter “kerfuffle” with lefty writer Matt Breunig. Maybe she should send him donuts to crystallize her respect for working people?


2. Seafood Is Sometimes Just Not Tempting Enough

Hillary will not—repeat, not—be having dinner with General Petraeus. On August 8, 2012, when Petraeus was director of the CIA, Clinton aide Monica Hanley wrote:

“Petraeus would like to speak with you secure. He can do anytime between 645pm and 10pm. We we are thinking that 7pm will work, right before your drinks with the press. – we have planned for drinks with the press in the hotel at 7:30pm. The CG, the ambo and his wife will come. – if you would like to do dinner outside of the hotel, the Harbor House is a 5 minute walk. Beautiful views of the harbor. Seafood. Comes highly recommended by the ambassador and the hotel.”

But in spite of the seafood recommendation, Hilary wrote back: “Ok to Petraeus. NOT to dinner.”

Her insistence might demonstrate some shrewd political radar: A few months later, in November 2012, Petraeus resigned from his position, which he said was because of an extra-marital affair that was discovered during an investigation. In 2015, he reached a plea deal with the FBI for giving highly classified information to his biographer, with whom he was having the affair.

Interestingly, a New York Times article argued that the FBI’s decision in the Petraeus case loomed large over its decision regarding whether to bring charges against Clinton.


3. It’s Funny That Baptists and Catholics See Jesus’ Boozing Differently

Clinton knows what “ROFL” means, and some slightly risqué jokes reduced her to it.

On May 25, 2012, Burns Strider, Clinton’s “Faith and Values Guru,” sent a list of jokes to Hillary, including this one:

“A Baptist preacher and a priest sat next to each other on a plane. When the flight attendant asked what they’d like to drink, the priest said he’d like a glass of wine. The preacher asked for a soft drink saying Christians should avoid alcohol. The priest said, “Jesus drank wine.” The Baptist said, “I know and I would have thought a lot more of Him if he hadn’t.”

Hillary responded: “ROFL—at some of them. Have a great weekend.”


4. Hillary Drinks to Britain’s Labour Party

On April 13, 2010 Hillary sent one of her many (controversial) emails to her confidant Sidney Blumenthal, saying:

“Just had drinks w Miliband who is still very worried. I have crossed fingers!”

The subject line reads: “If this poll holds, Labour has a majority. 1st debate thu.”

“Miliband” seems to refer to David Miliband (rather than his younger brother, Ed, who led the Labour Party from September 2010 to May 2015, after defeating David in a leadership contest). At the time of the email, David Miliband was the UK’s secretary of state for foreign affairs—the direct equivalent of Clinton’s position.

It’s unsurprising that a Democrat would favor the Left-leaning Labour Party, but diplomacy would have prevented her from publicly expressing her support in such terms.