Why the media turned on Hillary: a theory

After decades of enjoying media cover in scandals ranging from her miraculous cattle futures trading profits to her drinking habits, suddenly Hillary Clinton’s secret email accounts are drawing media scrutiny usually reserved for Republicans. This leads to the question of why? One theory, that I have advocated, is Democrat desperation over her poor campaign abilities, Wall Street ties, Clinton Foundation enrichment, and other scandal vulnerabilities. Better to force her to withdraw and seize the chance to nominate a more attractive and farther left alternative like Elizabeth Warren.

But another very attractive hypothesis is being advanced by Lee Smith, writing in Tablet Magazine.  She is being taken out by the Obama administration, that fears her opposition to its all-important Iran policy goals.

This week’s tarring of Hillary Clinton is part of the White House’s political campaign to shut off debate about its hoped-for deal. It’s not hard to see why they’re anxious. With Netanyahu’s speech forcing lawmakers and editorial writers to face up to the proposed agreement’s manifest problems, the administration fears the prospect of Democrats jumping ship and signing on to Kirk-Menendez sanctions legislation that also would give Congress oversight on the deal. So far, the White House has managed to keep Democratic lawmakers in line, no matter how much they seem to question the wisdom of the proposed deal. Hillary Clinton, gearing up for a 2016 run in which she is likely to put some distance between herself and Obama’s dubious Middle East policies, is the one major national Democratic figure who can give Democrats in Congress cover.

Which is probably why Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry, told reporters Thursday during a trip to Saudi Arabia that the State Department will move immediately to review the emails. “We will undertake this task [of reviewing the emails] as rapidly as possible in order to make sure that we are dealing with the sheer volume in a responsible way,” said Kerry, making clear that he and his department would be in charge of the process. Nonetheless, Kerry warned, the process of sorting through and releasing Hillary Clinton’s personal and work-related emails will take time—presumably about the amount of time it will take to make sure the Iran deal gets through unobstructed.

The Obama team’s campaigns against American allies, like Netanyahu, and domestic rivals, like Clinton, is evidence that it’s more than politically savvy enough to bring its adversaries to their knees. But, as I’ve argued previously, the administration’s negotiating team isn’t getting outmaneuvered by Javad Zarif and his colleagues because they’re too stupid to know better. They see Iran as America’s new partner in the Middle East—and they are determined to make that partnership stick, come hell or high water.