State of the 2016 Race
A column for The Hill analyzing the current state of the 2016 presidential race.
It is the beginning of the end of the House of Clinton:
1. There is the stench of political death around Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and the entire House of Clinton.
2. You could feel it when Republican front-runner Donald Trump hit back — hard — over the “penchant for sexism” charge by basically calling Hillary Clinton an enabler in the former president’s sexual shenanigans.
3. When have we ever seen the Clintons back off? But they did.
4. Then came further reports about an expanded FBI probe of her handling of secure information; the nexus of State Department favors for donors to the Clinton Foundation; and the story that Hillary Clinton or her staff might have lied to FBI agents in this probe.
5. All of this has raised the speculation, yet again: Will President Obama stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from indicting her if the eight-person DOJ team working with over 100 FBI agents recommends criminal charges?
6. The president will be in an odd situation: He ran against the Clintons. He is known to loathe Bill Clinton. He apparently does not want the Clintons back in charge of the Democratic Party (thus removing the thousands of Obama acolytes with cushy patronage jobs).
7. So: If the DOJ recommends an indictment and he K.O.’s it, he will have his own legacy smeared with a permanent taint of having covered up for the Clintons.
8. If he allows an indictment to move ahead, that will be the end of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Period. She may think she can march on despite charges, but that would be self-delusional. Her campaign will be finished the day charges are filed by Obama’s Justice Department.
9. She can’t claim “politics as usual” or that old “right-wing conspiracy” nonsense as this will be Obama’s Justice Department — not a Republican-controlled entity — bringing these charges.
10. Now, even without an indictment, Hillary Clinton’s fortunes are rapidly sinking.
11. As of today, she is on track to lose both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary — to an unelectable 72-year-old Vermont socialist!
12. That tells us how politically weak and out of it the Clinton machine has become.
13. It is no coincidence that Vice President Joe Biden has suddenly resurfaced — first in a Hartford, Conn. TV interview stating that he regrets not running “every day,” and then by softly criticizing Hillary Clinton for not leading on the anti-1 percent front.
14. Biden may very well be warming up in the bullpen for a possible emergency entry into the Democratic field once Clinton is charged and has to withdraw.
15. In the meantime, we see a frantic, panic-stricken Clinton family out on the stump hitting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on healthcare and guns. But they’re hitting him from the center on healthcare — not the left, where the votes are.
16. They are running national TV ads on guns on MSNBC; there are ads every few minutes. If Team Clinton members think they can turn around her negative trajectory over guns, they are sorely mistaken.
17. Economics is the main issue.
18. And Hillary Clinton is seen as being in the tank for corporate interests, while Sanders has stood up to them. Period. That is the race.
19. The 2016 campaign is a political revolution.
20. The House of Bush is also falling.
21. So is the Establishment of both political parties.
22. Who is more establishment than the Clintons and the Bushes?
23. Who has milked the political system for more money, gigs, access and cushy jobs for cronies than the Clintons and the Bushes?
24. But this is the year that the public is standing up to the status quo.
25. We are witnessing history: the fall of the Houses of Clinton and Bush.
26. Who is rising?
27. The outsiders.