Hillary’s long goodbye
I must be an awful human being, because I am reveling in the déjà vu Hillary Clinton must be experiencing, as her presidential campaign appears to be heading toward collapse. And this time, the humiliation – and peril – is far greater than anything 2008 dealt her. To state the obvious, her longstanding preference for pantsuits is one thing, but the orange jumpsuits of a federal penitentiary are quite something else.
I realize I am getting way ahead of myself here, that predictions are always risky – especially about the future, as Yogi Berra reminded us. We don’t yet know if there will be a criminal referral from the FBI, though the D.C. rumor mill is operating at full steam, averring that 50 more FBI special agents have been added to the case, making the total team well into triple digits. That the FBI would devote that level of resources to the case suggests that they are tying up any possible loose ends, to have an airtight cases presented to Loretta Lynch. (More on this later.)
Potential legal peril aside for the moment, the humiliations she faces are daunting for a woman of her arrogance. Her husband’s penchant for illicit sex with women far younger and more attractive is once again being thrown in her face, and this time the trusty old injured wife gambit not only doesn’t work, but is being used against her, painting her as an enabler of a sexual abuser.
Back in the impeachment days, she could count on the mainstream media to keep a lid on negative information and portray her husband’s accusers and investigators as a bunch of sex-obsessed prudes. Not only have the internet and cable news forever destroyed the cofferdam around embarrassing news these days, but substantial chunks of the mainstream media no longer see themselves as guardians of the Clinton empire. For one thing, a Democrat president is not being threatened with removal from office. For another, she is not the only game in town. Just as in 2008 they could abandon her for a younger member of a minority, one who was a far more skillful campaigner, now they have the elderly Bernie Sanders carrying the actual torch of socialism, and drawing enthusiastic crowds.
And then there is the small matter of all the knives in the hands of members of her own party that have been sheathed all these decades since she and Bill first entered the White House as tenants. She has made a lot of enemies over the years, snubbing some, ignoring others, and behaving with the arrogance and self-centeredness that has been a visible part of her character ever since she entered pubic life. There is a struggle underway for the future of the Democratic Party between the Obama faction and the Clinton faction. When she appeared inevitable, an uneasy truce prevailed. But if she may be tied up with a criminal defense case, that would solve a lot of problems for the Obama-ites.
That is something to ponder as we await a possible criminal referral to the Department of Justice and A.G. Lynch’s response.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden very publicly “regrets every day” his decision not to run for president.
If, as speculated, Elizabeth Warren were to align herself with a Biden candidacy, perhaps as the veep nominee, it would palliate the socialist Sanders supporters.
The old certitudes about the Clintons have crumbled. Bill no longer is a vibrant, likable, vigorous exponent of hope; he is instead a hollow shell, a creepy degenerate who reminds us of our own mortality after heart bypass operations and drastic weight loss.
I am convinced that the greatest prize of all for Hillary was not Air Force One or the other perks; it was going to be the ability to put Bill in his place. After Hillarycare crashed and burned, she was removed from the co-presidency she believed she had won, fair and square. And it had to rankle. There must have been a moment when he reminded her that his name, and his name alone, appeared on the ballot, and that his decision was final.
Oh, how she must have looked forward to pulling rank on the first gentleman!
That dream is slowly crashing and burning. Even without a criminal referral or indictment, Hillary’s chances are fading fast. Sanders looks as though he may sweep Iowa and New Hampshire. Once that happens, it is 2008 all over again. The Democrat establishment may not want Sanders on the ticket, but they are fully capable of drafting Biden, Warren, Booker, or another Dem, and then changing the convention rules to nominate whomever they want. But I doubt that will be necessary. The gears of the FBI are turning faster and faster. Policy requires that if a politician be accused of wrongdoing, it be done as long before an election as possible.
Time is not on Hillary’s side.