Until now, Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency has been viewed as pretty much a sure thing. But lately the road to near-certain nomination has taken a couple of rough turns, especially with the revelation that Clinton may have broken federal rules as secretary of state by communicating only on her private email account. Which makes us wonder: What if The Unthinkable did happen and she actually dropped out? What would be the Democrats’ response?
“Panic,” says Democratic consultant Chris Lapetina. Indeed, the biggest problem is that the Democratic establishment is apparently so terrified of the idea of a Hillary-less race—and the vicious primary that might result—it’s not even considering contingency plans. Political professionals, like military generals and crisis management experts, know that the way to avoid being blindsided is to prepare for every scenario. But while the Democratic National Committee has to officially remain neutral, much of the extraparty infrastructure has been moving ahead on the presumption of a Hillary campaign.
The Democrats are afraid of the no-Hillary option because their bench is thinner than Joe Biden’s hair before he got the plugs. All eyes would turn towards Elizabeth Warren at first, prompting an “elderly white woman for elderly white woman” straight-up swap for the party of youth and diversity. If the Hillary money went her way, the problem is solved. Warren, however, is a favorite of the Obama crowd, which isn’t always in sync with the Hillary crowd, so there is no guarantee that would happen.
The only reason to believe that the email problem will have a negative impact on Hillary is the fact that it was the New York Times that made it well known. Her Madameship’s minions can’t scurry about screaming about right-wing conspiracies on this one. Sadly, the Clintons are practiced lawbreakers and have never had any of their countless infractions stick.
My personal conspiracy theory here (pure speculation) is that the email scandal will only gain traction if power players inside the Democratic Party decide that Mrs. Bill needs to be nudged out in favor of Fauxcahontas.
Then it’s popcorn time.