Not just socializing, I should note, but socializing in public, an implicit reminder to the DOJ and intelligence community that Hillary Clinton’s prospects are important to him and his party. When was the last time the subject of an FBI investigation that’s on the front page of newspapers across the country got to party with the president the same week?
This is Obama fully embracing the DGAF atmosphere of the end of his second term. Who cares if there’s an appearance of impropriety here? What are you going to do, impeach him?
President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton chatted briefly Saturday evening in Martha’s Vineyard, according to a White House official.
The two were both guests at Civil Rights activist and long-time Democratic Party fixture Vernon Jordan’s 80th birthday party.
The Obamas have known Jordan and his wife, Ann, for 20 years. Jordan served as a close adviser to President Bill Clinton, who was also in attendance, during his time in office…
Earlier in the day, Obama hit the links with the former president and birthday boy Vernon Jordan at Farm Neck, where Obama has spent much of his time since arriving on the island last weekend. Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk rounded out the foursome.
An AP photographer was on hand at the golf course on Saturday to capture the moment of solidarity and beam it out on news wires across the world. Right around the time that was happening, Ross Douthat’s new column about Herself’s de facto legal immunity was going live at the NYT website: “While the email scandal is a serious business, I simply do not believe that the Obama Justice Department is going to indict the former secretary of state and Democratic front-runner for mishandling classified information, even if the offenses involved would have sunk a lesser figure’s career or landed her in jail.” This weekend’s photo op ought to confirm that, for the simple reason that Obama wouldn’t allow himself to be seen associating with the Clintons if he thought there was any real chance that the axe might be about to fall on them. As Douthat says, as long as Hillary’s not charged, this whole episode is just another Clinton scandal — dubious, reeking of above-the-law entitlement, but lacking the sort of smoking-gun evidence of willful wrongdoing that would force prosecutors to indict her. If anything, her supporters will enjoy the spectacle of her and Bill outfoxing those darned right-wingers again. What better evidence of Hillary’s qualifications for the presidency is there than her cunning in evading consequences for her corruption?
Actually, I don’t think the DOJ was Obama’s main intended audience for this back-slapping pageant with Bill. Clearly they were an audience — Obama knew what sort of signal this would send to investigators — but there was an important message he wanted to deliver to someone else.
As Joe Biden considers a possible run for president, the donors he’d need to be viable appear to be ruling him out.
Not all 400 people who gathered at a waterfront estate here on Sunday have been die-hard supporters of Hillary Clinton. In fact, many of them recall a rough summer eight years ago when Martha’s Vineyard’s liberal elite split their loyalties between Clinton and Barack Obama. But on Sunday, they were reveling in party unity and had little appetite for Biden to complicate the field, despite their affection for him…
Even Democrats who preferred Obama in 2008 said they were giddy about the possibility of electing the first woman president. They were also especially proud of the limited Democratic field in contrast to the chaotic, 17-way Republican brawl.
That’s why, they said, Biden should reject the inclination to run as he looks for possible paths to the nomination during the next few weeks.
Obama didn’t attend Hillary’s fundraiser yesterday on Martha’s Vineyard, no doubt because he didn’t want to insult Biden by seeming to formally side with her at a campaign event while he’s mulling whether to jump in, but the buddy-buddy golf session with Bill is enough of a signal. Per the NYT, lots of administration higher-ups who like and respect Biden are hoping he passes on running for fear that he’ll end up dividing the party and losing badly to Hillary anyway. Those who talked to the Times for that story were obviously trying to send him a message. Obama’s pattycake session with the Clintons this weekend was in the same vein, his way of showing Biden that he won’t be allowed to run as Obama’s true heir apparent.
Via the Free Beacon, here’s Bob Woodward marveling that the hunt for Hillary’s e-mails reminds him a bit of trying to get Nixon to turn over the tapes. Exit question: If George W. Bush had gone golfing with Scooter Libby — or Mrs. Scooter Libby, if you want to keep this analogy perfectly square — during the investigation phase of that scandal, involving a far less serious breach of national security, how would that news week have gone?