Opinion: Hillary Clinton’s records: Any 3 a.m. calls?


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Let the hunt begin.

The Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House won’t play out until Monday morning, but the scavenging through the voluminous daily schedules of former first lady and now Sen. Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for president, is under way.

See for yourself.

[UPDATE: As always, we welcome -- nay, encourage -- comments on what those of you who peruse the documents find newsworthy, striking or just off-the-wall].


The National Archives today released Clinton’s daily schedules from her eight years as first lady. The Clinton campaign announced: ‘These documents -- over 11,000 pages total -- add to an already voluminous public record of events and activities during the Clinton administration. The release of these documents underscores President Clinton’s efforts to encourage public access to the record of his presidency.’’

In these records, reporters, campaign supporters and political opponents will be looking for evidence of the depth of experience that Clinton cites in her campaign for her party’s presidential nomination. Rival Barack Obama, leading in the pledged delegate hunt, has called on Clinton to reveal her income tax records as well; her spokesmen has said she will, in about a month.

The Clinton campaign calls the daily schedules ‘outlines of the First Lady’s activities’’ that ‘illustrate the array of substantive issues she worked on -- including health care, child care, adoption, education, veterans, microenterprise and international development, women’s rights, and democracy.

‘Her daily schedules also list some of the meetings and travel she conducted to more than 80 countries in pursuit of the Administration’s domestic and foreign policy goals. They are a guide, and of course cannot reflect all of Sen. Clinton’s activities as First Lady. The schedules do help illustrate Hillary Clinton’s extensive and exhaustive work as a public servant and her role as an influential advocate at home and around the world on behalf of our country.

‘Sen. Obama and his campaign like to talk about transparency,’’ the campaign adds. ‘We call on him to back up his words with action and release his schedules and other records from his time as an Illinois state senator.’’

[UPDATE: Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s hard-charging communications director, sought to intensify pressure on Obama on the records issue ...

this afernoon. In a statement during a conference call with reporters, Wolfson said:

‘11,000 pages of the former First Lady’s schedules are now part of the public record and I believe that is approximately 11,000 more documents than the Obama campaign has released up until this point relating to any part of his service especially as a State Senator. ‘When these documents were released and we had a chance to look at them online, we put out a statement about them and in that statement we called on Senator Obama again to release relevant documents and information from his tenure in the State Senate relating to his schedule, to memos, to letters that he may have written to state agencies perhaps on behalf of Mr. Rezko or others. ‘We’ve heard different answers from Senator Obama about this when asked about it. At one point he said he had documents, another point he said he did not have documents. Apparently he left his office with nothing. ‘But we have 11,000 documents in the public record as of today. Senator Clinton has, as many of you know, been the subject of some 60 books. She is in many respects an open book. Senator Obama on the other hand has not been forthcoming with critical information about his tenure. From what I understand Chicago newspapers have multiple FOIA requests into state agencies in Illinois for basic information about Senator Obama’s correspondence with them. Senator Obama should do everything he can to release that information, to speed up that process in Illinois. If he has the letters that he wrote and the responses that he received, which he may well, he should just go ahead and release them, he doesn’t have to wait until the FOIA request has run its course. ‘There is much that Senator Obama can do on the subject of disclosure if he chooses to make this an issue as he has. I think in many respects he has gotten a free ride on this but there is a voluminous amount of information that presumably should be available relating to his tenure in the State Senate that he could release and make available at any time since he thinks that this is so important. I would again call on him to do so.’

-- Mark Silva

Mark Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune’s Washington Bureau.