In continuance from my last post, Jamelle Bouie at Slate reminds me that although I think the “server-gate” scandal currently plaguing the Hillary Clinton campaign is a complete nothing-burger, this should not be an issue for supporters of her (like myself) to take lightly. The truth is, the scandal will hurt her in the near future. It’s not completely devastating, and as I stated previously, the notion that she will be arrested makes me truly think the political Right has lost their damn minds (more on that later). But regardless, Bouie makes excellent points that I should have thought of but was too busy looking my my own biased lens’.
The first point that Bouie makes is the fact that Clinton “used private email at all shows her flexible approach to rules and regulations and a secretive reflex for conducting official business.” This matters, because as Bouie points out later in the piece, “[p]olitically, it’s not hard to see what happens next. Republicans will slam her for skirting the rules and look for ways to make this a long-term vulnerability.” This matters because it essentially allows Hillary Clinton (and her supporters) to do Republicans’ job for them. Hillary (along with the rest of the Clinton campaign machine) has the biggest possible political target on her back, and that target will remain huge until election day 2016 (assuming Bernie-mentum doesn’t overtake Hillary). Hillary will be scrutinized in ways that no other political figure has in the entire history of the United States presidential elections. But all that can’t take away from the fact that it is a huge deficiency for Hillary Clinton that her campaign strategy consistently seems to involve getting her out of hot water.
The second valid point that Bouie made me rethink was that “if some start to rethink [Hillary’s] electability, [Bouie] won’t blame them.” And it’s true. There is reason to believe that Bernie Sanders is a legitimate threat to at the very least the first two Democratic primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire (especially the latter, even though I had my own issues with the validity of the poll conducted by Franklin Pierce). While it’s true that Sanders’ is currently dealing with issues stemming from his conflicts with the Black Lives Matter movement (as are all Democratic candidates), those will blow over. And remember, Clinton has yet to attack Sanders and vice-versa. They are both focusing their ire on the current Republican candidates, which is a smart move in no small part because there’s so many glaring issues to criticize on the GOP side. However, if Sanders continues to gain momentum and start attacking Clinton’s prone for garnering scandals, Sanders will inevitably exploit that vulnerability. If anything could lead to another Clinton upset in a Democratic primary, it’s that.
I didn’t want to make this a very long post, because although I think Bouie’s column is excellent (like all of his columns), I do not believe that I am wrong that this scandal is enough to deter Clinton’s momentum and inevitability. Hell, I’m not alone, as even Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump agree with me (obviously for different reasons than the ones I have). But, I wanted to post this slight revision because I have a responsibility to not just blindly swallow and defend Hillary Clinton at all times. Constructive criticism is necessary, especially when it’s done for the people you love (yes, I do love her, and no, I don’t care what you think). The truth is is that Clinton, as much as I hate to admit it, has a reputation the she routinely exhibits the type of unseemly behavior that people typically associate with politicians. And as much as I love her (and Bill), all too often they are guilty of shooting themselves in the foot and allowing their political opponents to make them appear more nefarious than they actually are (see: The Clinton Global Initiative “scandal”).
While I don’t have to endorse all of the ridiculous criticisms launched at Clinton and her campaign, I do have to get all perspectives when looking at a political situation. Since this is my blog, my perspective is important. And while my perspective is that the “server-gate” scandal is all hype and no substance, there are plenty of reasons why a sizable portion of Americans will believe the hype. And worst of all, “scandals” like these can make Clinton’s surefire 2016 victory seem less and less inevitable. I do believe Clinton will spend the rest of the summer doing damage control, but will come back strong in the fall. I’ll end on this post on the following note: SUMMER SUCKS (something Hillary probably agrees with, at least for this [articular summer).