Lamest presidential field ever is giving Dems nightmares over a possible Hillary run
A possible Hillary Clinton run for president terrifies many Dems, but whom else have they got?
So lame is their large field of Democrat contenders that Hillary and her aides are dropping hints that she might enter the race. She kicked off the budding movement herself, as John Fund reports:
... Hillary appeared on PBS in early October to remark that maybe there should be a "rematch" between her and Trump. "Obviously, I can beat him again," she said.
Clinton's throwaway line started a conversation among the many Democrats who are less than impressed with the current presidential field. Willie Brown, the former San Francisco mayor who greatly influenced Senator Kamala Harris's early career, confessed that he was in a "depression over the current field of candidates."
He then brought up Hillary's name. "It's time for Hillary Clinton to come out of retirement, lace up the gloves, and get back in the ring with President Trump for what would be the biggest political rematch ever," Brown wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle. He called Clinton "the only candidate short of Barack Obama who has the brains, the battle-tested brawn, and the national presence to take out Trump." He failed to even mention Harris, who is currently mired in fifth place in most presidential surveys. (snip)
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post floated trial balloons for a Hillary comeback in the days after the Brown column. The Post said that Hillary feels "vindicated" by Trump's current troubles. One source who has spoken to Clinton says she thinks about running for president "all the time" even though she acknowledges that the path to victory is steep.
Last week, Philippe Reines, a close aide, fueled speculation with an appearance on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show. CNN's Chris Cillizza:
There are few staffers who have been with Hillary Clinton as long — or are as fiercely loyal to her — as Philippe Reines.
Which is why Reines' appearance on Tucker Carlson's(!) show on Fox News Wednesday night to keep the door open to a late entry by Clinton into the 2020 race(!) caught my eye.
"She ran for president because she thought she would be the best president. If she still thought that now, if she thought she had the best odds of beating Donald Trump, I think she would think about it long and hard....
''This is a huge if. But if she were jump in for whatever reason, and the party has moved someplace that she hasn't, then she won't get the votes. That's the point of the primary. There are still 19 people. There are a few that are in double digits. If she were to run, and people [say] she's too left, too right, too center, that's the beauty of it. They get to vote against whatever they want....
"She's not running because she has any anxiety about the Democratic field. She really likes a lot of the people running. She knows them well. She thought about some of them for her vice presidency. But there might be a reason that she would be the best person, not only to beat Donald Trump, but to govern after Donald Trump."
Far from closing the door on the recent speculation that Clinton might be the answer to establishment Democrats' increasing jitters about the strength of their field, Reines kicked the door wide open with those comments.
Sure, he blanketed all of the speculation with the "this is a huge 'if'" line. But he has been around politics and media long enough to know that what he was saying would add credence to the rumors that Clinton might well be interested in a third run for the White House.
Dick Morris, who worked for and now hates Hillary, spoke out on radio yesterday, laying out the scenario he sees as the potential trigger for a Hillary run:
"I think at the moment, the issue is will the ghost of Hillary Clinton come out and get into the election? My feeling is she wants to. She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she's hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad," Morris told host John Catsimatidis, noting her history with silencing sexual harassment victims and how she is "scared to death" of the #MeToo movement.
He went on to say Clinton will likely only join the race if former Vice President Joe Biden drops out.
"If [Biden] goes away, there's an opening for her because at that point all the Democrats are going to say, 'Oh my God. Are we going to nominate Elizabeth Warren and be left with only a left-wing, crazy, George McGovern-like candidate to represent us in the election? We're going to get clobbered! We need a moderate to come out,'" Morris stated.
He added, "[M]ake no mistake. She wants it. She's planning on it. She'll do everything she can to achieve it."
If Morris is correct, then Biden is now a target of the still-formidable Clinton machine, experts at leaks, secret deals, and skullduggery of all sorts. We already know that big dollar Dem donors have cut off the money spigot to Joe, forcing him to reverse himself and start accepting SuperPac money that he formerly denounced. Not exactly a good look for a guy already fighting corruption charges.
While a Hillary candidacy would offer so much opportunity for mirth that it is like catnip for me and many other conservatives who know and despise her, we can't rule out the possibility that she has learned a few lessons from her defeat and would be a much stronger candidate this time, actually visiting Wisconsin, as many joke.
On the other hand, there is a US Attorney in Salt Lake City that has been charged with investigating her, potentially including her handling of classified emails and her approval of the sale of a quarter of our uranium reserves to a Russian company, followed by a more than a hundred million dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation by parties associated with the deal.
A special federal prosecutor in Utah is close to completing an investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to Attorney General William Barr.
Barr told CBS News in an interview published on May 31 that U.S. Attorney John Huber's investigation of Clinton is "winding down."
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in a letter (pdf) on March 29, 2018, that he had assigned Huber to investigate a list of potential crimes outlined by Republicans in Congress.
"The other issues he's been working on relating to Hillary Clinton. Those are winding down and hopefully, we'll be in a position to bring those to fruition," Barr said.
While Barr didn't specify the "issues" Huber is investigating, Sessions announced Huber's assignment last year, in response to "recent letters" from three Republicans in Congress: Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, and Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. (snip)
Based on the content of that letter, Huber may be investigating one or more of the Clinton-related matters the FBI was pursuing in 2016 and 2017.
From 2015 to 2016, the bureau investigated whether Clinton and her associates mishandled classified information by using an unauthorized private email server to conduct official government business during her time as the secretary of state. During the same time frame, the bureau was investigating allegations concerning the Clinton Foundation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Huber may also be investigating whether the approval of the sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to Russia had any connection to millions of dollars that parties who benefited from the deal gave to the Clinton Foundation. (snip)
Notably, Uranium One had significant holdings in Utah, where Huber is based, including a small town, a uranium mill, and more than 10,000 acres of uranium claims.
Huber's investigation could turn out to be a dud, but my suspicion is that if it has uncovered crimes and delivered sealed indictments, leaks would not be circulating, owing to the distance – geographically and culturally – of Salt Lake City from the Beltway and its reporters who cultivate sources eager to leak. John Durham's Connecticut-based investigation of the FISA warrants and matters related to the attempted coup to remove Trump from office has gotten nearly all the attention, but the Utah grand jury may have some bombshells of its own waiting to be unleashed.
My ideal scenario would be for Hillary to bully Biden out of the race (though he may not need all that much encouragement to leave) declare herself, and then get hit with the unsealing of indictments from a Utah grand jury or juries. If the indictments were issued prior to her candidacy but remained sealed, it would be harder for her to maintain that they are political hit jobs, the way Democrats are pretending that it would have been illegitimate for President Trump to see aid from Ukraine in uncovering corruption related to the Biden clan.
Clinton's jabs at Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian "asset" have disquieted many in her party, including some of the lesser members of the presidential field, willing to speak out because they have so little to lose.
Some candidates declined to directly agree with Clinton and appeared to hint that they were skeptical of her claims when attempting to avoid questions about the controversy.
"I don't know what the basis is for that," South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Sunday when asked whether he agrees that Gabbard is a Russian asset. "I consider her to be a competitor," he added. "Our focus right now needs to be on the things that are actually undermining America." (snip)
Kamala Harris chuckledwhen asked about Clinton's comments. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion," the California senator said. "There's nothing else to say." (snip)
Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang tweeted that Gabbard "deserves much more respect and thanks than this." Spiritual author Marianne Williamson asserted that "character assassination of women who don't toe the party line will backfire," adding that Gabbard has her respect.
Beto O'Rourke, a former Texas congressman who shot to stardom during his failed 2018 Senate bid, also gave a forceful defense of Gabbard.
"Tulsi is not being groomed by anyone," O'Rourke said Saturday. "She's her own person, obviously has served this country, and continues to serve this country in uniform, in Congress, as a candidate for the presidency. And so, I think those facts speak for themselves."
Having knifed a younger, more attractive, minority (the first Hindu to run for president) candidate in the back with a McCarthyite smear, Hillary Clinton will have much less ability to gin up enthusiasm as a glass-ceiling breaker, the potential first woman president. And those Democrats afraid to speak openly against her will not suddenly become overwhelmed in enthusiasm.
Hillary's resort to a fake black accent at the funeral of Elijah Cummings also elicited unease and some criticism. The leopard doesn't seem able to shed its spots:
YouTube screen grab.
A final question is the state of her health. During the 2016 campaign, she maintained a leisurely pace (and did better when she was out of the public eye than when she was campaigning), and seemed pass out and need to be hauled to her "Scooby van" campaign truck by a gaggle of aides. She also needed assistance in walking down stairs in public.
She now appears much better in public than in recent times, wearing fewer tent dresses, and appearing composed when speaking. Has she obtained fetal stem cells and had a miraculous healing? Or maybe replaced her own blood supply with that of 19-year-old virgins? Who knows? But a campaign against Donald Trump would feature two people of roughly the same age, one of them with a record of being able to maintain a pace that would be remarkable for a man three decades younger, the other with a history of needing help in normal life functions. Would Hillary hold up well, and be able to hold rallies all over Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan? I don't know, but I am skeptical that the cosmetic improvements in Hllary's appearance translate into increased physical vigor.
One thing is certain: Hillary's potential campaign inspires bipartisan dread.