by Dick Morris | April 1, 2015 12:07 am
Politicians depend on their ability to maneuver as their most basic survival skill. Force them to stand and exchange blows without the ability to shift their ground and they are as helpless as a kitten.
Presidents, for example, fail when they get stuck and can no longer maneuver, as with Johnson on Vietnam, Nixon on Watergate, Carter on the hostages, Reagan on Iran-Contra, Bush on taxes, Clinton on Monica, and Bush Jr. on Iraq.
Now, Hillary is stuck over the emails.
Her ability to maneuver is lost, and her campaign comes down to a simple mantra: “I erased the emails. There’s nothing there you wanted to see. Trust me.”
Hillary’s tactic of hiding at home in Chappaqua coming up occasionally to tweet, offering up to 140 characters to show she’s still alive, isn’t working. She is getting pounded each day in the media. Nobody believes her explanations.
About half the voters in the key swing states of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania told Quinnipiac pollsters that they do not find the former Secretary of State “honest and trustworthy.” And a recent poll by CBS showed that while voters believed by 49-38 that “convenience” rather than “concealment” was her motive for using a private server, this does nothing to justify her erasure of 30,000 emails. For that, she has no explanation other than repeating that they are none of our business. Voters aren’t buying that.
Under the constant attacks and disclosures, Hillary offers no defense — and not even any offense — against the Republicans.
The bad polls and the nervousness of the Democrats will combine to force the candidate-in-hiding to come out in public, announce her candidacy and campaign. While going public is the only real option for Hillary at this point, it will prove counter productive and only mire her more deeply in the email mess.
Hillary is truly stuck. Nothing she says about any other topic will be covered, and the chance for the media to question her will just expose her to more negative coverage about the emails. She has already shown her difficulty in handling questions without proper scripting. She has nowhere to turn. Nowhere to hide.
The question looming over the presidential race is: How much can the Democratic Party take before it comes up with a default candidate? Will they get serious about finding an alternative to Mrs. Clinton or are they willing to bet that the bleeding staunches and the wound heals? The extent of the catastrophe, should the scandal drag out and the negatives continue, that would befall the Party cannot be overstated. The elections of 1974, the post-Watergate wipeout of Republicans, will seem minor compared to what will happen to Democratic Congressional and Senate candidates in 2016 if Hillary leads the party into disaster.
Democrats seem impervious to negatives about Hillary. Through thick and thin, they appear willing to stick with her. So lets rephrase the question and ask Democrats whether they think Hillary can win with her current baggage. As the evidence mounts that she cannot and her announcement of candidacy just pushes her lower and lower, likely they will come to their senses and look for an alternative before it is too late.
As Congressional hearings come and Hillary looks worse and worse in the witness chair, it will likely dawn on even the most dedicated of the party faithful that the jig is up. Even if their own admiration for Hillary is undimmed, the prospect of carrying her into the election will appear increasingly daunting.
And Democrats have to win in order to survive. Politics, for them, is no spectator sport. Its their living, their entitlement checks, their government handouts. They cannot afford, literally, to lose.
Hillary may become a luxury they cannot afford.
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