Clinton emails: Gefilte fish, TV shows and redactions

Story highlights

  • The latest batch of 7,000 Hillary Clinton emails will be released Monday night by the State Department
  • About 150 of those emails have information that was retroactively classified, State says

Washington (CNN)The newest trove of more than 7,000 of Hillary Clinton's emails were released Monday night by the State Department, showcasing more of the mundane political notes and scheduling requests that have made up earlier releases.

That's despite 125 of those emails -- which weren't classified at the time -- being retroactively classified before they were released. All or portions of some unclassified emails are redacted, too.
The emails show Clinton was a little obsessed with criticism from Fox News, once closely tracked a trade dispute involving gefilte fish and was eager to check out NBC's "Parks and Recreation" and CBS' "The Good Wife."
    They highlight her close relationship with Sidney Blumenthal and even feature an IT staffer trying to figure out why her email -- which wasn't a government one -- was causing bounce-backs.
    Here are some of the most interesting notes included in Friday's release:

    Sid Blumenthal's not-so-unsolicited advice

    Clinton has said the emails with foreign policy advice from long-time friend Sidney Blumenthal were unsolicited. That might be true -- but she certainly took them seriously, even thanking him for sending them at one point. She also told Blumenthal that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, loves his analysis.
    "Thx for helping keep me informed along the way," she wrote in response to a Blumenthal note about the United Kingdom.
    In another, Clinton tells Blumenthal that she "Just had drinks w Miliband who is still very worried" about the 2010 elections in the United Kingdom.
    She even asked to have a New York Times op-ed Blumenthal forwarded printed and delivered to her house.
    If the Clintons liked what Blumenthal had to say, House Speaker John Boehner might not. In one memo, he told Clinton insurgent House Republicans "are repelled by his personal behavior. He is louche, alcoholic, lazy."

    IT doesn't know Clinton's email

    One of the State Department's "Help Desk Analysts" noticed that one government emailer had been getting bounce-backs from Clinton's address.
    That analyst emailed Clinton directly, appearing not to know who he was contacting, asking her to confirm that she'd received it.
    Aide Huma Abedin explained what had happened, noting that a staffer had tried to contact Clinton but noticed her email was down and asked IT for help.
    Abedin wrote to Clinton: "She called the email help desk at state (I guess assuming u had state email) and told them that. They had no idea it was YOU, just some random address so they emailed. Sorry about that."
    Others knew Clinton's address. In May 2010, Clinton sent Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a trusted adviser to President Barack Obama, an email with the subject line: "Here it is!" The email appeared intended to give Rice Clinton's contact information.

    So what about those gefilte fish?

    One email from Clinton contains the subject line "Gefilte fish."
    The entire content of the email: "Where are we on this?"
    It's not as bizarre as it sounds. The message is related to nine containers of the Passover favorite that were supposed to be shipped from Illinois to Israel but had become embroiled in a trade dispute.
    Rep. Donald Manzullo, an Illinois Republican, had asked Clinton at a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting to look into it. Meeting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Clinton joked that despite the intractable problems the United States and Israel face, "This one we might be able to solve."

    Redactions ... everywhere

    It isn't just the much-discussed classified emails that are redacted. Despite the public disclosure mandate driving the email dumps, much is left to the imagination. That includes from the mundane -- the obscuring of a cell phone number or an email address -- to matters of diplomacy.
    In one instance, a draft of Clinton's testimony on the New START treaty before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is entirely redacted, though of course the final version is now a part of the public record.
    Another email consisted of talking points to prepare for a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but all the text was blocked out.
    Countless other examples of redactions exist in the email tranche.

    Top aide talks work-life balance

    Anne-Marie Slaughter, then the State Department's director of policy planning, sent notes about the struggles of balancing a career and a family -- particularly for mothers. In one, to aide Huma Abedin but directed at Clinton, Slaughter encourages her go forward with plans to start a winter vacation on December 21.
    "I would urge you to -- for your own sake. The pace is absolutely killing and you deserve it. But it will also mean that a lot of folks who would like to take some time off with their family before Xmas (e.g. moms like me who are necessary to make Xmas happen) would feel much freer to do so," Slaughter wrote.
    "Your staying home tomorrow will make lots of parents at higher levels feel ok about staying home with their kids. I may be one of them!" Slaughter wrote.

    'Our friend, Martin'

    Clinton displayed a fondness for then-Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley during his 2010 re-election campaign, though the two are now rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
    Clinton wrote her ally Barbara Mikulski, Maryland's senator in April 2010 to congratulate her on kicking off her re-election bid and asked the senator for an update on her state's governor, who was also running for his own new term.
    "How's our friend, Martin, doing? I know he has a rematch when he should be reelected by acclamation for steering the ship of state so well. Pls give him my best wishes," she wrote.
    O'Malley was the second governor to endorse Clinton in her 2008 run, but since launching his presidential campaign has been increasingly critical of Clinton.

    Time to turn off Fox News?

    Clinton seemed particularly interested in -- and irritated by -- Fox News.
    She wonders at one point, "Will Fox attack me for my 'tax the rich' comments?"
    Another time, she complains on top staffer Michael Posner's behalf that "FOX is beating the heck out of Mike for what he said in his briefing on the China human rights dialogue about the Arizona law."
    Later, she complains that Bill O'Reilly is hammering away at Posner, too -- before being told he was re-airing an old show.
    "Things aren't as bad as they seem," Philippe Reines responded.
    Clinton also had her eye on other media outlets. Both Blumenthal and Cheryl Mills forwarded her a December 2009 Politico story headlined: "Poll: Clinton approval soars."

    Must-see TV

    Even while watching television in her downtime, Clinton wanted all things politics.
    Some shows that caught her eye included NBC's "Parks and Recreation" and CBS' "The Good Wife," according to an email to aide Monica Hanley.
    "Can you give me times for two TV shows: Parks and Recreation and The Good Wife?" she wrote in a "Happy New Year!" message early in 2010.
    Parks and Recreation chronicles the saga of a Clinton-admiring woman in a small Indiana parks department, and The Good Wife is a political drama inspired by the Eliot Spitzer scandal.
    Clinton also made it clear to Hanley how she drinks her tea -- with milk.
    "Could you or he buy skim milk for me to have for my tea?" she wrote. "Also, pls remind me to bring more tea cups from home."

    Suck-ups abound

    Clinton gets a lot of kind emails, but one, from decades-long friend Roy Spence, stood out.
    He called Clinton "Sis" and said "I love you" -- and that was just in the subject line.
    "I love you. I respect you. I miss you. I cherish every moment of our remarkable journey together," Spence wrote. "God Speed. Dear Sis. We shall cross paths soon."
    He was right about crossing paths again soon. Spence is now Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign's message consultant.
    In another example of flattery toward Clinton -- which showcased the sharp tongue that often got this communications aide in trouble, too -- aide Philippe Reines told Clinton in May 2010 that he "loved that you finally called out the ogrish males on your staff who roll their eyes at womens issues and events."