Okay, so I realize I’m not going to make it in the rap game anytime soon. However, what I lack for in rapping skills I make up for plenty in trolling and bubble-bursting skills. So I’m going to use those skills to serve as a reminder to those who wish to see Hillary Clinton end up either in jail or as the loser of the Democratic Party nomination that it’s far too early to pop the champagne.
First, I’ll address Republicans eager to see Clinton in court with handcuffs awaiting her life sentence for using a computer. The latest in the Hillary “server-gate” is the following:
- From NBC News this morning (H/T Chuck Todd & Carrie Dann): “After months of resistance, Hillary Clinton’s campaign says that the former secretary of state will turn over to the Justice Department her private server and a thumb drive containing copies of her emails. (And that news came on the same day that we learned that two of the emails that the inspector general for the intelligence community reviewed contained “top secret” information, the highest classification of government intelligence.)”
- Hillary Clinton used a “home-brew” server that according to Alyssa Newcomb at USA Today “is likely no bigger than a desktop computer.” Furthermore, using a server like this (and maintaining privacy) requires a significant amount of I.T proficiency to operate, even if the type of hardware she used is unknown.
- As Jonathan Allen reminds us at Vox, Clinton “used a personal email account attached to a private server at her home in upstate New York and did not use a government account at all. That means she kept emails that should have been in the public domain on a personal server.”
This is how Republicans want this story to play out: the “top secret” e-mails contained nuclear weapons codes, which now China and Russia have, and it was all part of a plot by Hillary Clinton to cover up what she knew about Benghazi. Unfortunately, even the most vociferous of Republicans have to know deep in their hearts that these e-mails won’t contain anything of significance and that Hillary is not giving government secrets to our enemies. Clinton handed over the e-mail server to the Justice Department (albeit, begrudgingly). Clinton is going to testify (again) about her role in Benghazi on October 22nd so Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) can fundraise and look like a “big man” while taking his seat at the cool kids table in the Congressional cafeteria. Sure, Gowdy will brag to all of his friends about how he “zinged” Clinton and spent hours yelling at her about how big of a traitor she is. Hell, Gowdy may even land a punch or two. But the notion that he can take down Clinton is preposterous. And the notion that Republicans have Clinton’s back against the wall over the “server-gate” scandal is even more preposterous. The investigation will turn up nothing and Hillary will continue her stride towards the presidency.
Now, Hillary Clinton’s other foes, “anti-establishment” Democrats and progressives are celebrating with joy because there’s a new poll out that shows Sanders beating Clinton in the important primary state of New Hampshire. But for all the excitement Sanders supporters are feeling (I swear to god if one more person asks me if I’m “feeling the bern”… ugh), there’s a couple of things they should know before breaking out the gluten-free, non-GMO, all natural ingredients cupcakes:
- The poll, conducted by Franklin Pierce and the Boston Herald, has a margin of error of 4.7 percentage points. That’s unusually high for a poll. Also, a poll featuring only 442 voters is only marginally sufficient at best. In 2012, the most accurate polls that were conducted featured over 1,000 voters, while those that surveyed less than 500 were among the most inaccurate. Also, only 11% of the Democratic voters in this poll think that Bernie Sanders will actually win the nomination. Not exactly a strong vote of confidence.
- In my Facebook feed, poll guru and Five-Thirty-Eight founder Nate Silver reminded us of a post of his from late 2012 that contends that Clinton remains a formidable presidential candidate. The reason being that despite every bit of controversy that has come her way (and her husband’s), Clinton can not only withstand the controversy but also overcome it with relative ease. Despite the fact that her favorability ratings are certainly lower than they have been in a while, her favorability ratings have always fluctuate and will likely continue to do so as the nomination process drags on. For instance, Clinton’s ratings may go up after the first debate. However, they may go back down after she testifies about Benghazi in October. Trying to predict a presidential nomination based on favorability ratings is like trying to predict the super-bowl winner based on which team loves puppies more. Sure, if you care about puppies, that may matter to you. But it has nothing to do with which team will win.
- A question for the media: why is there so much obsession with an “unexpected” victory? It seems like the media gives large attention to Trump and Sanders because they desperately want to see an upset. Look, I understand there’s a market for the “non-politician”, the person who runs against the “establishment”, the person who does away with talking points and gives us the “straight talk” (I’m seriously getting nauseous as I type this). But this is how the media portrays every election! Every election the voters are supposedly “fed-up” with Washington and wants to see a “new direction” of governance. Which is exactly why when the polls in August of 2011 showed Rick Perry as the frontrunner, he ended up winning the GOP nomination in 2012. Oh wait, he crashed and burned? Well the media certainly got it right the second time, when former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll and was the frontrunner, she ended up winning the nomination. Oh wait, she didn’t? Well how about when Hermain Cain was the frontrunner in the fall of 2011. Surely they couldn’t be wrong about a pizza mogul, right? Yup, they were dead wrong. How about, for once, we stop pretending that polls taken six months before the first primary actually matter.
Now don’t get me wrong. Bernie Sanders is certainly drawing large crowds and is getting a lot of attention. Sanders has also gained a lot of excitement and developed a very strong volunteer ground campaign. Granted, Clinton still hasn’t done any real campaigning and is taking a lower profile than most politicos would expect. Regardless, the Clinton campaign should take Sanders seriously as he is proving himself to be a formidable opponent. But the notion that one poll (or even several polls) means that the Clinton campaign should be shaking in their boots is ridiculous. Just like Republicans who are being kept up at night fretting about a Donald Trump nomination should rest easy, because Trump will not win.