News & Politics

Will Hillary Clinton Really Be the Democrat Nominee?

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

I’ve long been on record that Hillary Clinton will not be the Democrat nominee for president this fall, once the smoke clears from her various scandals and health issues. I’ve now been joined in my opinion by the Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin:

Democrats who think Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is simply a stronger-than-expected sparring partner for Hillary Clinton may be in for a rude awakening. While the Republicans have their hands full navigating toward an alternative to Donald Trump, at least they have people in the race capable of doing so. Clinton, however, may be a dead-woman-walking, leaving the Democratic Party in the untenable position of nominating a socialist whose foreign and domestic policies are antithetical to the great majority of Americans.

Clinton’s problems are threefold.

First and foremost, she has a serious legal problem, one that cannot be wished away by those indifferent to the facts. The FBI does not investigate and devote considerable resources for nothing. It does not lightly send a letter stating it is investigating a former high government official’s use of an unsecured email. And someone (whether in the FBI, the Justice Department or some other corner of the administration) does not without good reason leak a story as damaging as this latest Fox News report:

At least a dozen email accounts handled the “top secret” intelligence that was found on Hillary Clinton’s server and recently deemed too damaging for national security to release, a U.S. government official close to the review told Fox News.

The official said the accounts include not only Clinton’s but those of top aides – including Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines – as well as State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy and others.

A second source not authorized to speak on the record said the number of accounts involved could be as high as 30 and reflects how the intelligence was broadly shared, replied to, and copied to individuals using the unsecured server.

This sort of rampant mishandling of classified material cannot be swept under the rug, no matter how much Democrats want to believe this is some political fuss cooked up by Republicans. Whoever is leaking the information seems determined to make sure the FBI and/or the Justice Department cannot evade their obligations to move forward, as they would with any staff person who engaged in this behavior.

Amen to that. By any reasonable standard, Mrs. Clinton is a criminal — in other words, the perfect candidate for the criminal organization masquerading as a political party to run for the White House. But it’s out of her hands now.

Second, if the Democrats — as the Republicans have done with Trump — are waiting around for their voters to recognize how extreme and unelectable Sanders is, they are mistaken. The Democratic Party has fanned the flames of class warfare for so long, Sanders now sounds mainstream to them…

Third, Clinton is exactly the wrong person to stop the Sanders runaway train. In her concession speech in New Hampshire, she declared: “What are we going to do? And that is — that is the fight we’re taking to the country. What is the best way to change people’s lives so we can all grow together? Who is the best change-maker?” Honestly, it wouldn’t be her. She — who won’t release her speeches to investment bankers — cannot plausibly be the best person to take on Wall Street or clean up campaign finance rules. Maybe Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or former senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) could make that case, but not Clinton.

Clinton may not dig herself out from all of this. Democrats who don’t think so are whistling past the graveyard of the Democratic Party.

Maybe both parties will self-detonate this year. Biden/Warren vs. Romney Redux/Ben Sasse, anybody?