It's Over, Hillary
Hillary and Bill Clinton have always had what can be termed as an "Icarus" problem. Through their years in political office, the scandals swirled around them but seemingly failed to engulf them: Jennifer Flowers (and the other women); Whitewater; Travelgate; the cattle futures killing; Monica Lewinsky; Benghazi; Bill's "business" jaunts courtesy of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein; the Clinton Foundation's foreign donor problem; and now, Hillary Clinton's version of "Emailgate." Through it all the Clintons have soared to the heights of hubris with obfuscation and denial, challenging and daring the sun god of karma. Instead of crash and burn, they've instead repeatedly landed on their feet, quite comfortably.
Separating out the Clintons, one finds that most people generally have a favorable impression of Bill. He's the incorrigible rogue, the brother forever getting into trouble, the "Bubba" you can have a beer with, and who as a teen shook hands with an American idol, and then later went on to live in that same White House.
Hillary, on the other hand, has a different persona. She entered the public conscience as the presidential candidate's wife who didn't want to stay home and bake cookies. Throughout her public life, she's been a polarizing figure, you either like her or you don't. There's no grey area with Hillary. Whichever side you come down on, however, very few will disagree that Madame Secretary is not afraid to wield power, keeps score and holds grudges, and at all costs protects the Clinton brand.
And now that Secretary Clinton is on the cusp of announcing her 2016 run for the presidency, it is very interesting that the New York Times decides to break the Hillary email story, and create this "scandale du jour." The silence, until just recently from Secretary Clinton, about her emails and her apparent defiance of the federal records laws shows either hubris or incompetence. Her tweet, "I want the public to see my email" rings hollow, with a slight hint of bubbling desperation.
But does Hillary really understand that this smoldering scandal is not like the others, that 2015 is not the heyday of the 1990s? Apparently not, and apparently Secretary Clinton is finding that her welcome mat is being rolled up. As our favorite former Obama pastor rousingly cried, "the chickens are coming home to roost."
Politics is like no other occupation. The stakes at the presidential level can make the toughest Vegas poker player wince. This is the world that Hillary Clinton has played in for the last two decades, and she has proven herself to be a comparable female version of "House of Cards’" Francis Urquhart, and so far has beaten the political Darwinian odds. While she has enjoyed the limelight for the past few decades, it hasn't come without a price. For every "friend", there is an "enemy."
With the 2014 electoral shellacking the Democrats received at federal, state, and local levels, retaining the White House is foremost in the minds of the Democratic Party power brokers, donors, and grassroots diehards. Hillary's disastrous book tour last year, her silence over major foreign policy events, and now the brewing disaster of "Emailgate" is proving that the Clinton brand and more importantly, Hillary herself, are not as stellar and untouchable as they once were. Hillary is now a blast from the past, and her latest run-in with infamy is showing incompetence at the highest levels to a new voting demographic.
Long a cheerleader, and co-partner in Clinton, Inc., the liberal media smells blood. The swan song of Hillary Clinton can actually be visualized. Many pundits and long-time Hillary watchers may say don't count her out yet, she's a survivor, others have had private email accounts, etc., etc. Not this time. Hillary is now becoming more of a detriment than a crowd-pleaser. She no longer can be counted on to bring home the White House in 2016 for the Democrats.
Right now, there can be little doubt that the lights are burning late into the night in Chappaqua, and the phone lines are burning up as Bill is calling every "FOB," to get needed intel, as he and his coterie decide whether “Emailgate” has rendered Hillary as irrevocable damaged goods. Hillary will not run if there's the remotest chance of another embarrassment on the national stage, as in losing the nomination, let alone the presidency.
Hillary, you've met your Waterloo. It's over.
Melanie Kowalski provides political commentary and opinion at political-woman.com