The headline above this column may be flip, but forget the "server" pun and follow the metaphor. Hillary Clinton, in her Tuesday press conference, basically played the role of a surly waiter telling us exactly what we'll be permitted to digest. We are to take whatever scraps she deigns to give us, and we will like it.
The choice is hers, not ours, and it is entirely out of line.
Mrs. Clinton has deleted 32,000 emails she sent and received during her four-year tenure as secretary of state. They were "private, personal records," by her own reckoning. But she will not allow the government to validate that assessment by making her server available to an independent arbiter such as the FBI.
Following that logic, any government employee is free to set up a private server, then later decide which emails are off limits to government archivists. That is not the way our system of checks and balances is supposed to work, and Hillary Clinton is in a heap of trouble.
With very few exceptions, even her supporters in the mainstream media were thoroughly unsatisfied with Tuesday's presser. The former secretary has been pilloried and ridiculed in reliably liberal outlets.
Part of this is the media's wish for a horserace on the Democratic side, which would be good for ratings. Even political junkies will be reluctant to follow a coronation without a campaign.
There's also the fact that Mrs. Clinton is simply too moderate for many on the left who are hungering for an Elizabeth Warren candidacy. If this email affair has legs, or if new scandals emerge, look for Senator Warren to ride to the rescue of her Democratic Party.
Ratings and ideology aside, many folks in the media simply suffer from Clinton fatigue. Bill and Hillary have been surrounded by drama for more than two decades; they always seem to be explaining away some questionable decision or action. Yes, there are times when their many enemies concoct accusations, but many of the controversies are the Clintons' own fault.
Take the recent Clinton Foundation dustup.
While Mrs. Clinton incessantly positions herself as a champion of women, her family foundation has accepted millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations where women are oppressed beyond belief. Contributions were also gladly accepted from nations that sponsor terrorism.
Did the Clintons need the money that badly? Hillary Clinton was asked about the sleazy donations at this week's press conference, but totally dodged the question.
Mrs. Clinton may have hoped Tuesday's performance would put this email fiasco behind her. But to borrow from Churchill, this was not the end, it was not even the beginning of the end. She bobbed and weaved, and left the ring after just a few rounds of questions, but was bloodied nonetheless.
No, Hillary Clinton will have to do much more, and do it more effectively, if she wants to put this to rest.
First, she should allow the FBI or another agency to fully examine her private server. That third party will determine what is private, what is part of her government work. She also has to hold a genuine press conference or sit down with an interviewer who will ask the tough questions that remain unanswered.
At this point, it would be absolutely unfair to accuse Mrs. Clinton of committing a crime. Nor is it kosher to compare her to Richard Nixon, the man she once pursued with vigor. But, like Nixon, Hillary Clinton is "tricky" in her own way. That has many Democrats worried about their prospective nominee, and many Republicans rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren is warming up in the bullpen. And yes … she's a lefty.