For good or ill (almost entirely ill), Barack Obama has always played an excellent long game. How long? Monica Crowley has a theory:
Gen. David Petraeus, who was prosecuted for mishandling classified material in much more innocuous ways, claimed to a source of mine that Mrs. Clinton faces a “very tough legal environment.” Particularly, if Mr. Obama used the Petraeus prosecution to set the precedent to prosecute Mrs. Clinton: “I’m so sorry about this, but my hands are tied. The law is the law.” (It would be the first time in his presidency that the “law is the law,” but that’s another matter.)
It may be that Mr. Obama set her up from the start, giving her the green light to use a private server. The White House refuses to say whether she got prior approval, suggesting that they probably granted it. After all, a number of top administration folks had private accounts: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, among others. But they didn’t use private email exclusively for government business the way Mrs. Clinton did, nor did they expose classified material. They also weren’t likely presidential candidates. It could be that Mr. Obama gave her the OK knowing that he could use it against her at the opportune moment. Which would be now.
Intriguing to be sure, but it’s difficult to buy completely into a plan hinging on a 73-year-old Joe Biden running and winning a national election after serving eight years as Vice President.
Of course it may also be that the Democratic nominee didn’t have to be Biden, so long as it wasn’t Clinton. Any future Democratic President other than the Two For One Couple might be easier for the Obama Camp to maintain sway over out past 2016.
Going back to Crowley’s theory for just one more brief thought — Obama and David Axelrod might have figured they have the country on a solid enough electoral lockdown that Biden or pretty much any other Dem is a sure thing next year.
So long, that is, as “any other Dem” isn’t named Clinton.
I don’t usually buy into conspiracy theories, but this one might just have some meat on it.