Hillary Clinton has shape-shifted through a list of personas this election, trying on different roles to see if any might stick with the public.
She’s settled on the one to ride into November 8: victim.
A Woman of Many Faces
Her first role was as “woman,” hoping to sweep up roughly 50% of the electorate in a single empowering noun. As with Obama, she hoped to mobilize a huge swath of voters who wanted to participate in electing the first
Black female president. Didn’t go mainstream. Grandmother, same. Competent life-long government person, hmmm, cut both ways, many people wanted a change. Third Obama Term, meh, took some steam out of Bernie’s campaign but not much more. Killer of bin Laden, sorta worked in one debate, dragged on into an SNL skit cliche through the others.
When the first news of the emails came out in March 2015. Hillary didn’t really have a persona for that, mumbling about no classified, then about not wanting multiple devices, prevaricating here, avoiding there. She tried blaming Colin Powell, then the State Department’s creaky IT infrastructure.
Until she nailed it: She was the victim of a conspiracy.
The sources of that conspiracy shifted, back and forth, to and from “the Republicans,” lots of Putin, some “hackers,” Wikileaks, men/misogynists often looped together, oddly at times the all-to-hagiographic media, Trump the Assaulter, and now, only three months after he was her hero, James Comey, FBI Director.
And thus Hillary Clinton, the One who would empower all, chooses her last persona, the Victim.
How the “victim” thing plays out depends on how closely voters want to listen (and many Clinton apologists are more than willing not only to forgive her apparently any sin, but also to actively put their hands over their ears and sing LA LALALALALALA LA until November 8.)
The problem is that if Hillary is a victim, she is also her own villian.
But… But… Why Now?
Why is it only ten days ahead of the election that the FBI is talking about tens of thousands of more Hillary emails?
— Because Hillary had a private server and kept it a secret for six years and
— Because that server was gobbed up with classified material most of us could never judge things enough to trust Hillary and
— Because Huma Abedin did not turn over to the FBI months ago a crusty computer full of evidence connected to the previous investigation and
— Because a sexting pervert sexting with a minor had access to all those emails
Deep Inside Hillary
The broader explanation lies deep inside the psyche of Clinton.
She has had 18 months of chances to explain, or at least try to explain, the entire email saga. Instead, she avoided most questions, gave patently false answers (“I didn’t want to carry multiple devices”) and hid behind her State Department’s near-criminal slow walking of Freedom of Information Act requests to out the emails. At one point she “apologized” but insisted at the same time she did nothing wrong, at another said she took full responsibility but took none in practice, and then fell into legalese parsing of words and laws, aided by a surrogate media.
And that’s even before some of the server emails, and many of the Podesta emails, revealed connections among the Clintons-Donors-Favors-the Clinton Foundation.
So all that’s left is to cry wolf one more time and see if it sticks. Like Putin, Comey is out to get her. It’s all so unfair!
In this election cycle, ten days is a lifetime. Who knows what new information will come out, what new ways Trump will find to turn a political development in his favor into hash, and most of all, how voters will process all this. Expect the Clinton campaign to go all-in demanding its supporters vote early (before anything else emerges) and cranking up whatever crap they have left on Trump to ear-bleeding volumes.
Those Damn Emails
But the thing that will remain are those emails.
If Clinton does win, she’ll go to her swearing in ceremony knowing any Republican left in Washington will be preparing hearings and calls for impeachment, leaving her a herculean task of accomplishing anything in her term that she can use to run for her second term.
But that’s OK; she’ll blame the opposition for disabling her, a victim once again.
BONUS: Boy does the State Department hope Clinton wins. Republicans in power will tear that building apart, taking heads and exposing emails and other evidence. State’s budget will be cut to the point where they won’t be able to afford Internet access so people can comb Craigslist looking for new jobs.
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