Without the full-throated backing of the liberal media a Democratic candidate is clearly in trouble. Such seems to be the case of Hillary Clinton.
Considering how the media fawned over Barack Obama, effectively shielding him from criticism and questions, the fact that Emailgate was broken by the New York Times was a shot across Hillary’s bow.
Now, after Hillary’s calamity of a press conference, liberal and progressive voices are weighing in. Many of them were none too impressed. They are beginning to be very scared about 2016.
Take Frank Rich, in New York Magazine:
That it took Clinton as long as it did to respond to the rising chorus of these questions, and that she did so as defensively and unconvincingly as she did, is yet more evidence that she’s not ready for the brutality of a presidential campaign. This hastily called, abruptly truncated press conference was reminiscent of the mistakes she made last year in her ill-fated book tour. She didn’t schedule yesterday’s appearance until after the most senior of Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein, essentially demanded that she speak up.
Some of what Clinton said didn’t pass the smell test. It reminded me of an episode in the first season of Veep where the vice-president announces she will release all her internal office correspondence to quell a controversy and then instructs her staff to make sure it’s “Modified Full Disclosure Lite.” That’s what we got here. Why, for instance, would Clinton say that she “didn’t see any reason to keep” her personal emails? Those are precisely the emails that every American keeps.
If she doesn’t become more forthright and less defensive when she’s under fire, this is going to be a very long campaign for her. Though we keep being told that she and those around her are determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2008, so far there’s no evidence of that. And the much tougher questions — starting with those about the donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation — are yet to come.
Rich is not about to become a Republican, but saying that Hillary is not ready to run a presidential campaign is a damning indictment indeed. She has spent most of her adult life preparing to do just that. If she isn’t ready now… when will she be?
Of course, one might say that she was not ready for any of the high government offices she held and cannot run on a record of achievement. Her incompetence should come as no surprise.
And Frank Bruni, in the New York Times:
She’s going to have a primary, all right, but it will be a contest against her own worst impulses, default defensiveness and prickly sense of insult when pressed for explanations. From what I saw Tuesday, victory is uncertain.
And here is some news analysis, also from the Times:
They shrug off questions about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email habits. They roll with the attacks on her family’s foundation, the big checks from foreign governments, the torpid response of her not-yet-campaign.
They have little choice: As Mrs. Clinton prepares to begin her second presidential campaign amid a froth of criticism and outrage, Democrats are not just Ready for Hillary — as supporters named one pro-Clinton “super PAC” — they are desperate for her….
Mrs. Clinton, many Democrats say, is simply too big to fail.
“There is no one else — she’s the whole plan,” said Sarah Kovner, a leading Democratic donor and fund-raiser in New York. “She is by far the most experienced and qualified person we could possibly nominate. Not even on the horizon but on the far horizon.”
Should Mrs. Clinton falter, the party has no easy way to replace her.
The Democrats are clearly desperate. Not so much for her, but for an alternative. As much as they say that there is no one to replace her, you can be sure that the calls are going out.
If a viable or plausible candidate appeared tomorrow, the Democratic media would cling to him or her… desperately. The party right now needs to be saved from Hillary.
The Times says:
Her star power — and the potential for a ceiling-breaking White House victory — has helped obscure a vexing reality for the post-Obama Democratic Party: As much as it advertises itself as the party of a rising generation, the Democrats’ farm team is severely understaffed, and many of its leading lights are eligible for Social Security.
The Democratic Party is in serious trouble:
Down the ticket, the party’s problems are worse. The two midterm elections since President Obama’s 2008 victory have wiped out an entire generation of Democratic state officeholders, costing the Democrats more than 900 state legislative seats and 11 governorships, according to an internal Democratic National Committee assessment released last month.
Republicans have been more aggressive in steering donors to less glamorous state races, electing governors and legislative majorities whose sweeping rollback of union rights has further damaged Democrats in states in which they are already reeling.
To be fair and balanced, Republican and conservative media are cranking up the anti-Hillary machine.
This morning the Wall Street Journal editorialized that Mrs. Clinton was surely being disingenuous, if not deceptive when she declared that when she was Secretary of State she never shared any classified information in her emails. The Journal notes that she could not have done her job without communicating about classified information.
And then last night, Megyn Kelly, the Times’s favorite Fox host, pointed out another looming problem.
The Washington Examiner reported:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, like all departing federal employees, was required to fill out and sign a separation statement affirming that she had turned over all classified and other government documents, including all emails dealing with official business.
Fox News Megyn Kelly reported Wednesday evening on the requirement and that a spokesman for Clinton had not responded to a request for comment, including an explanation of when the former chief U.S. diplomat signed the mandatory separation agreement or, if she didn't, why didn't she.
The Washington Examiner also asked Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill for comment late Wednesday but had received no response from him early Thursday. Clinton did not respond when asked about the issue earlier this week by the Associated Press. The issue was first raised Monday by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Kelly also reported that State Department regulations in place when Clinton resigned as secretary required all departing employees to return all official documents, including emails, to ensure that the department would be able to respond to Freedom of Information Act and congressional requests, as well as subpoenas in litigation.
Failure to do so carries with it both fines and possible jail time.
If she signed the statement and failed to comply with its terms, she faces prosecution. If she did not sign the statement, why didn’t she?
Whatever the case, Lanny Davis and James Carville will be happy to explain it away. It's one more reason why the Democratic Party and its satraps in the media are desperately looking for an alternative to Hillary.