Hillary in the Bunker

Hugh Hewitt overcomes the PTSD elements of Hillary's press conference and asks "Did this help or hurt her impending candidacy?"

The fact of the matter is this is not about sex, which many people think is inconsequential, this is about matters of national policy and security.  This scandal, unlike Bill’s scandal, is consequential to the nation not just personal.  Not to mention it comes with Benghazi in the background, and with issues surrounding the Clinton Foundation very much active at the moment.  This has to matter.

At the moment, media on both sides of the aisle seem to be piling on.  That is a measure of how consequential this, in fact, is.  But this will also be ancient history by the time the campaign actually gets rolling.

Sean Trende notes that the biggest political problem for Hillary here is that it has revealed that her game has not improved since 2008.  If anything, I think it has worsened.  Said Trende, “There were signals that she was putting together the sort of larger-than-life, untouchable campaign that Obama put together in 2008 (and to a lesser extent, 2012).”  Now, rather than a bad imitation of Bill, she is a bad imitation of Obama, and the public is just confused.

Put simply, managing scandal requires a candidate, or president, that is larger than life in some fashion.  Bill Clinton’s sexual conquests are a part of his mystique, at least for enough voters to win.  Obama’s imperial nature is likewise part of an aura of inevitability about the man that many people buy into.  But that kind of stuff does not rub off.  Hillary is a larger-than-life media/political presence, but it is derived.  None of us would have a clue who she is if Bill had not been elected POTUS.  Unless she can find her own larger-than-life political magic, which she did not find in this presser, something is going to eventually catch up with her.

This did not help her candidacy.

Mark Steyn adds:

Hillary announced today that she'd deleted everything other than the 55,000 pages of emails she handed over to the government. And, while 55,000 sounds like a lot, it boils down to fewer than 38 a day for a four-year term. The average person in work has over 120 business-related emails a day. So Hillary's 55,000 sounds a little on the low side. Happily for her, she handed them over to the feds as print copies only, so Trey Gowdy is going to have to wait until some State Dept minion has scanned them all in in a searchable form before he can enter search terms like "Benghazi".

The risibilty of these defenses is the point. To reprise one of my favorite Theodore Dalrymple quotes:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.

That's why all this stuff is coming out now. If Hillary can get away with something so obviously and uniquely and intentionally wrong, and that compromises national security to boot, and for which she offers nothing but the most laughable explanations, then she will have set the rules for the next 18 months. If she can make the court eunuchs of the media and the Democrats' own base complicit in this absurd and unconvincing lie, they're hardly in a position to complain about all the others in the months ahead.

But that was written before this shoe dropped: "The Associated Press sues the State Department over Hillary’s emails," Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

The Department of Justice might just want to revive its practice of monitoring the communications of Associated Press journalists after today. On Wednesday morning, the AP filed a lawsuit against the State Department for failing to provide access to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s electronic communications records and related emails under the Freedom of Information Act.

The international news organization filed suit Wednesday morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.

The requests target materials related to the potential presidential candidate’s public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.

“After careful deliberation and exhausting our other options, the Associated Press is taking the necessary legal steps to gain access to these important documents, which will shed light on actions by the State Department and former Secretary Clinton, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, during some of the most significant issues of our time,” said the AP’s general counsel in a statement provided to The Hill.

To borrow from Steyn's quote of Dalrymple, it will be fascinating to watch the Orwellian doublethink in which an AP -- which exists to reflexively craft mythological PR copy for its fellow Democrats -- praise the campaign efforts of Hillary against those eeeeeevil Rethuglicans, even while they're effectively suing her and admitting that her campaign has much to hide.

And finally, the New York Post's headline editor certainly earned his pay today:

As Podhoretz writes in his article, "Hillary acts stupid when she plays dumb:"

Smart Hillary Clinton would know that people don’t delete their most personal emails: That’s the point of ­email, that it’s a wondrous passively organized file cabinet of your personal communications.

It’s the junk you delete, not the ­emails about your daughter’s wedding. Those are the kinds of things most people actually want to keep.

But not Dumb Hillary Clinton, who said she’d done just that.

Smart Hillary Clinton seems to have invented Dumb Hillary Clinton to protect her from herself. But Smart Hillary isn’t doing herself any favors.

Mrs. Clinton is going to have to transform herself, to get rid of Dumb Hillary and find a new persona to cope with troubled times, because the person who made so horrendous an accounting of herself yesterday has no future other than ignominious defeat.

Wow John, cut the woman some slack -- she and her husband are new at political campaigning and holding press conferences on the world stage; they'll get the bugs ironed out eventually.