UNITED NATIONS—While Democrats defended Hillary Clinton and the answers she offered to the controversies swirling around her nascent campaign, many found one word uttered by their expected presidential candidate troubling: "convenience."
In her opening statement to reporters before taking questions, Clinton said she had "opted for convenience" when choosing to bypass the State Department's official, authorized email and instead use a personal account and a private server. She didn't want to carry two mobile devices, as so many officials in Washington regularly do to keep personal and official communications separate.
"Looking back, it would have been better if I had simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time, this didn't seem like an issue," she said, clearly aiming to convey dismay that anyone would think this controversy warranted attention at all.
Several Democrats, even those who rushed Tuesday to support Clinton after the press conference, said that rationale and her team's messaging strategy wouldn't quiet her critics.
"I don't know if I'm more concerned about the 'convenience' [explanation] than I am about the almost arrogance of the way this has been handled by her staff and the secretary," said Boyd Brown, a Democratic National Committee member from South Carolina. "It could have been handled better—a little less flippant than it was."