Way back when the Clintons were invited out of Arkansas onto the national stage many voices from their home state warned the nation that they would be the source of endless pain and corruption.
Bill was most oft the focus then -- he was the candidate -- but others spoke of how Hillary had tainted both the personal and the professional lives of everyone she had come in contact with.
Such word came from lawyers who had worked with both Bill and Hillary, members of their staff, fellow politicians and even from the Arkansas State Troopers who had been charged with their protection.
The words were always the same: That these people -- the Clintons --were self-serving and destructive like few others even in the rather less than saintly field of southern politics.
FBI Director James Comey, on the other hand, was once a man almost universally respected. Even with the political stakes so very high people on both sides felt comfortable with him at the helm of the investigations into both the growing email scandal and the other possible wrongs connected with what has come to be called "Clinton Inc." -- the Clinton Foundation.
But then somehow, be it though the sweet syrup of enticement or the raising of acid threats, Director Comey for a time fell -- clearly entrapped -- his name and reputation ruined. And his agency -- the vaunted FBI -- likewise.
Then, just this past week, something unexpected happened: New evidence appeared that would allow for the re-opening of at least one of those investigations - thus possible undoing of the taint of corruption that had enveloped both Comey and his agency.
Comey, we learned yesterday, grabbed that opportunity.
Taking such an investigation public is somewhat unusual. But in an initially private memo -- now made public -- Comey explained why he felt compelled to do so...
“We don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations," he wrote, "but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record."
How much Comey's own personal need to clear his name and reputation entered into the picture, along with the his desire to undo what so many see as a great miscarriage of justice, we simply cannot know. Possible Comey himself does not know. But whatever his motivations -- be they for personal redemption or the good of the republic -- good this most certainly is.
This event and all that will follow will not be "clean." Extracting one's self from the snare of sin never is. And no matter how pure Comey's and his fellow FBI investigators' motives are in reopening this investigation (or investigations), there will also be an ugly political side to everything that transpires.
Looking back we can now say -- just as we'd been warned -- that it would have been better for all concerned had the Clintons had never been invited out of Arkansas onto the national scene. But at least FBI Director Comey is now trying to undo some of the hurt and damage they have done -- both to him and to our nation.
And for that at least we should be thankful.