I’m starting to see red.
No, I’m not mad…I just mean I have the feeling that a tide that could sweep a Republican into the White House is rising.
In November 2012, after President Obama was re-elected, I said it appeared very likely that Democrats would hold the White House for the next 12 years –four more of Obama and eight of Hillary Clinton.
I also said it looked like all Hillary had to do was defeat New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to win the presidency in 2016.
My, how things have changed. Christie looks like he’s finished politically, among other things for failing to deal with New Jersey’s public employee pension crisis and agreeing to settle an environmental lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. for roughly three cents on the dollar after more than a decade of litigation.
And now I’m getting the sense that Hillary’s unrestrained arrogance is going to do her in.
The New York Times’ disclosure on Monday that she used, exclusively, a personal email account while secretary of state — instead of a Department of State email account — could be a crippling blow, in my opinion.
(By the way, The Star played this huge story on Page 2 yesterday and didn’t have anything about it in today’s paper. The Times, by comparison, had stories on Page One yesterday and today and has a new one on its website.)
Not only did she thumb her nose at the public by using a private email address to conduct public business, she and Bill established their own domain name, clintonemail.com, which had a server linked to the Clintons’ home address in Chappaqua, New York.
In its latest story, The New York Times says Hillary used the private address for everything — “from State Department matters to planning her daughter’s wedding and issues related to the family’s sprawling philanthropic foundation.”
Time magazine said that establishing the domain name and maintaining a private server “raised questions about whether Clinton was making a deliberate attempt to prevent her messages from being disclosed by open records requests or subpoenas.”
Hillary was already carrying a significant amount of baggage — the Benghazi debacle, among other things — and now here’s another damaging disclosure suggesting that her government business was none of the public’s business.
It seems to me that most normal, logical-thinking people who were carrying baggage as heavy as Hillary’s would think along these lines when planning a run at the presidency…
“I need to be as transparent as possible, avoid any appearance of impropriety and do everything I can to convince voters that I’m a credible, trustworthy candidate.”
But, no, here comes another in-your-face, faith-shaking gambit. As Times’ columnist Frank Bruni said in an Op-Ed column today, “…this was reckless, given the questions that would surely be asked if it came to light the likelihood that it would, and how she’d wind up looking.”
“Does she have a political death wish?” Bruni asked.
I say, does she take the public for idiots?
The email scandal (let me be the first, I think, to apply that label) was the subject of a second Times Op-Ed piece, written by Matthew Connelly, a Columbia University history professor, and Richard H. Immerman, a Temple University history professor.
Here’s the sentence from their piece that jumped out at me:
“The revelation on Monday that Hillary Rodham Clinton used only a personal email account when she was secretary of state and did not preserve her emails on departmental servers seems to reflect a troubling indifference to saving the history she was living.”
Indeed, most of what the secretary of state does — like John Kerry trying to forge a nuclear deal with the Iranians — amounts to a lot more than a person going about a random job and consigning their actions and official interactions to their personal files.
Many Democrats are going to stick with Hillary regardless, but Hillary has handed the Republicans some powerful ammunition, which they will bombard her with and which undoubtedly will create, or reinforce, doubts about her judgment and integrity.
On another front, until now it appeared that a congressional committee examining the 2012 attacks in Benghazi was just a vehicle to lambaste Hillary on that subject one more time. But now the committee has fresh meat: The committee on Wednesday asked Hillary’s lawyers for all of her emails related to Libya. The intimation is that although she has surrendered 50,000 pages of emails from the personal account, she might not have turned over everything relating to Benghazi.
It looks like Jeb Bush will be the Republican nominee. His biggest problem so far, it appears to me, is that, a la Abe Lincoln, his wife is a shopaholic. Pretty tame by comparison to Hillary’s failure to adequately secure the Libyan embassy and her use of a private email account to conduct State Department business.
If Bush can maintain an appearance of moderation and reasonableness, partly by resisting the urge to suck up to the far right, he could make off with a lot of Democratic votes. That’s where John McCain and Mitt Romney failed as presidential candidates. In abandoning their “maverick” and “moderate” mantles respectively, they sacrificed any hope of getting the votes of moderate Democrats…And, as we all know, there are a hell of a lot more moderate Democrats than there are right-wing kooks.
Along with the Clinton arrogance and presumptuousness (have you noticed that she hasn’t bothered to step forward and address the issue herself?) a Republican nominee who came off as moderate could put in GOP hands the Oval Office, as well as the House and Senate.
The question is: Will the Republican nominee see the light this time around, or will he fall into the same old muddy well? Because if he kowtows to the far right, most moderate Democrats will likely set aside Hillary’s astonishing indifference to saving the history she was living and run right back into her insincere embrace.