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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Putting Lipstick on a Pig

There's an "article" in the New Republic that announces that the upset over Hillary Clinton's use of private email is actually a good thing for her.  No, that's really what it says, a GOOD THING FOR HILLARY.

The thesis of this idiotic piece is that the email issue is not really a big deal and it provides a wake up call for Hillary to get her house in order.  Sounds about right, doesn't it?  Oh, to be clear, I don't mean the thesis of the article sounds correct.  I mean that this reaction at The New Republic shows just how far many in the leftist media have their heads in the Washington bubble. 

Here's reality:  bad things were happening for Hillary for quite some time.  Her poll numbers have been declining prior to the email issue arising.  In the last month, we had a steady drip, drip, drip of stories about how the Clinton Foundation took millions in cash from foreign governments, lobbyists for foreign governments, companies with business before the State Department when Hillary was the Secretary of State, and folks with other questionable attributes.  That was followed with stories how the Foundation spent millions on personal costs for the Clintons like $8 million for travel in one year.  Then came the news that the Clinton Foundation took huge donations in violation of the specific rules put in place by the Obama administration.  Only after that did the email mess break.  All this had an effect.  In a poll that concluded the day BEFORE the email story broke, registered voters were asked if Hillary is honest.  There results were 55% to 44% that she is NOT honest.  Without a doubt, that number would be even lower now after the email story has been getting heavy coverage.

Hillary Clinton has a special problem with all this.  She has no record of accomplishment to which she can point.  Her years as a New York senator show nothing of moment.  Her tenure as First Lady is hardy an achievement.  Standing by a philandering husband in public is hardly an achievement that merits the presidency.  As Secretary of State, Hillary was involved with the Russian "reset" which has been an abject and disastrous failure.  She was also in charge during the failure to properly defend and support the American mission in Libya even after requests for increased security came from the ambassador who was later murdered in a terrorist attack.  She helped guide the failed policy in Syria and Iraq which has brought us ISIS today.  So the most important thing Hillary can argue in her quest for the presidency is that she has the character and ability to be president.  That means that the public perception of Hillary as dishonest is a big, big problem for her.

It's also important to remember how that kind of public perception gets shaped.  The American voters tend to forget most events unless they are extremely major.  If nothing further comes out regarding Hillary's improper and perhaps illegal email system, few will care about it one year from today.  Those same voters, however, will not change their opinions of Hillary's character unless there is something that causes that change.  If she is at 60% who think she is dishonest today (just a guess of the effect that the latest disclosures will have), in a year or more there will still be a substantial majority who think she is dishonest.  This would be bad for any candidate, but for Hillary, it is a disaster.  A relatively unknown candidate like Florida former governor Jeb Bush might be able to overcome a negative perception of his character as people learned more about him.  Hillary, however, is a known quantity.  Everyone knows who she is; everyone has an opinion of her.  Given that level of familiarity, Hillary will have to do something major to change the public perception that she is dishonest.

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