As reported March 2 by The Indianapolis Star, US vice president Mike Pence, when he was governor of Indiana, conducted official state business using his personal AOL account. And he got hacked.
It’s a story that bears a striking resemblance with the leitmotif of Pence and running mate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton. Clinton had used a private email server while in office, and for that Trump had suggested he’d “lock her up.” Her emails, and the FBI’s unusually forthcoming acknowledgment that it was investigating them, helped fuel the Republican narrative that Clinton was paranoid, untrustworthy, and not fit for office. All the while, the man running alongside Trump on the ticket was a politician who had handled state business on personal email (not in and of itself a violation of Indiana law, it should be noted).
Naturally, Pence does not seem to find much of a parallel between Clinton’s behavior (which also was not a violation of law, based on the FBI’s recommendation that criminal charges not be pursued) and his own. In fact, Pence thinks that “there’s no comparison whatsoever.”
Perhaps Hillary Clinton has a different view on the matter. Here she is, sitting on a plane, looking at the front page of USA Today, which features the headline “Pence used personal email in office.”
You guys, my friend is on the same plane as Hillary Clinton. Zoom in on the title of the article she's looking at. pic.twitter.com/356oE9uT0s
— JOHN (@thelastwalt) March 3, 2017
It would be hard to stage a picture that more perfectly summed up the past six months of American politics, or the double standard typically faced by women.
Clinton is indelibly associated with the pitfalls of using email in office, and the consequences she faced for it are unique for sure. But looking at the photo above, it’s also easy to imagine Clinton as any woman who ever lost a job to a far less qualified man and saw him (or, in this case, his running mate) making the same mistakes, and many more, that would have been unforgivable for her—and getting away with it.