You know the Hillary email scandal is a big deal when you read a half-dozen pieces in the New York Times on the subject— news analysis and op-ed — and not one of them is giving her a halfway decent review for her press conference at the UN Tuesday. Columnist Frank Bruni is perhaps the most devastating, calling Mrs. Clinton “Mesozoic” — in other words, yesterday’s yesterday’s news.
Things are bad for Hillary and this is before we hear more of Bill and Jeffrey Epstein and Huma’s emails, Saudi donations, missing hard drives and God know’s what else. I think it’s at least possible at this point that not too many weeks down the road Hillary will suddenly develop “health issues” and not run at all.
So who profits by this? The cliché goes that the Dems don’t have much of a bench — and that’s true. In the end Webb or O’Malley may emerge. I don’t see Warren finally running. I don’t think anyone would take “Fauxcahontas” seriously in the swing states and the Democrats know it.
But what of the Republicans? They’re supposed to have this great bench, but I’m not so sure. The Hillary scandal doesn’t help Jeb, only reminding us that he too is a tad Mesozoic, though not as much as Clinton of course. Still, it’s enough already of the past. That doesn’t help Huckabee or Santorum either, or even Christie. But what about the man-of-the-hour Scott Walker? Again, I’m not so sure. He has a lot going for him, but every day it looks as if 2016 is increasingly a foreign policy election. And the Hillary scandal — Benghazi, Iran, etc. — only underlines that further, making the commander-in-chief requirement even more important. I’m not sure Walker fills that role. And Rand is disqualified in a foreign policy election and, to be honest, I don’t think Cruz can win.
So if I were a betting man at this moment — and I’ll probably change my mind, usually do — I’d put my money on Marco Rubio to come to the fore, possibly sooner than we expect. He has that youthful, fresh face feeling as well as genuine foreign policy competence. Off the cuff, he is the best spoken of any of the Republican candidates. I know many on the right rejected him over the immigration issue, but he’s corrected course on that one and now emphasizes border security, as he should. After all, that’s a crucial part of foreign policy right now — protecting our shopping malls from Islamolunatics.
Anyway, feel free to disagree (I know you will) but remember this. If you’re looking for someone perfect, whatever that means to you, that’s not happening, not from the human race anyway. Perhaps someone from Alpha Centauri.