Bill Scher, writing at Politico, engages in what I personally think is a bit of fantasy. Following the revelations about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and now the email scandal, Scher finds some Democrats who may be pondering the unthinkable. What if she drops out of the race?
Until now, Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency has been viewed as pretty much a sure thing. But lately the road to near-certain nomination has taken a couple of rough turns, especially with the revelation that Clinton may have broken federal rules as secretary of state by communicating only on her private email account. Which makes us wonder: What if The Unthinkable did happen and she actually dropped out? What would be the Democrats’ response?
“Panic,” says Democratic consultant Chris Lapetina. Indeed, the biggest problem is that the Democratic establishment is apparently so terrified of the idea of a Hillary-less race—and the vicious primary that might result—it’s not even considering contingency plans. Political professionals, like military generals and crisis management experts, know that the way to avoid being blindsided is to prepare for every scenario. But while the Democratic National Committee has to officially remain neutral, much of the extraparty infrastructure has been moving ahead on the presumption of a Hillary campaign.
Noah touched on Scher’s piece earlier during an amusing thought experiment which results in Al Gore running for the presidency. In terms of amusing ourselves during the slow season, I was happy to play along with that game, though Gore doesn’t seem very likely to me. But both the Democrats and the Republicans need to put humor on the back burner and make sure they are ready for all eventualities as we move toward the summer and the beginning of the debates. And as far as the Democrats are concerned, I don’t think they have anything to worry about.
Like many of you who track politics and government either professionally or avocationally, I’ve spent a fair share of the last 24 hours watching multiple news outlets covering this latest Clinton scandal. Of course, if you’re watching the same networks and reading the same papers that I am you will have noted that I just used a word which hasn’t passed the lips or pens of most of those media figures… scandal. Nothing with Clinton is ever a scandal. Oh, it’s “questionable” for some of them. For others, it’s a failure to follow best practices. (I’m not kidding. I actually heard that one on CNN just after 2 pm today.) We’re already seeing them offering air time to people from Media Matters and Ready for Hillary who are quick to explain that the laws in question regarding her email accounts were, you know… more of guidelines than actual laws in 2009. In short, as I mentioned earlier, it seems as if the media is already well on their way to yada yadaing this story out of the news cycle.
I agree with Allahpundit, at least in as far as saying that the Clintons don’t *think* they are above the law. They know it. And as long as the public is willing to look the other way and conclude that anything bad said about Hillary is a media mountain created out of a molehill, they’re not going to change their vote. In order to make this stick in a meaningful way which might result in Hillary either dropping out or losing the election, she would need to be personally brought up on charges. And really… who can be bothered to do that?
Sadly, this isn’t the sort of scandal that will stick to a Democrat. (As opposed to a Republican, where a hint of pretty much anything will do.) Violating some obscure rule about where your email server is located is too wonky. It lacks that punch and sex appeal you need. If Hillary was found with some boy toy on a yacht named Monkey Business, then maybe … just maybe you’d have a story. But her email domain won’t sway the media or the liberals, moderates and feminists who love her.