Former President Clinton has been working overtime to drag Barack Obama across the finish line in this year’s election. Clinton has been hands-down President Obama’s most effective advocate. His personal credibility may not be substantial, but unlike Obama, Clinton produced a non-disastrous presidency. Thus, his overall credibility vastly exceeds that of the current president.
So how is Obama awarding Clinton for his heavy lifting? By throwing Clinton’s wife under the Benghazi bus, it appears. On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that responsibility for the consulate in Libya fell on the State Department, not the White House. This followed Joe Biden’s claim during the Thursday debate that “we” (apparently meaning Biden and Obama) knew nothing about the Libya mission’s request to the State Department for extra security.
To save his political career, Obama would throw his own grandmother under the bus she supposedly rode to her job at the bank everyday because his grandfather thought it would be racist to give her a ride. And Biden’s 2016 presidential ambitions (no, I’m not joking) provide him with an extra incentive to see Hillary Clinton become the fall-gal for Benghazi.
How is Bill Clinton taking this? According to author Ed Klein, he is not taking it lying down. Klein says that sources close to the Clinton are telling him that Bill Clinton has assembled an informal legal team to discuss how the Secretary of State should deal with the issue of being blamed for not preventing the Benghazi terrorist attack last month.
I’m sure Bill Clinton is furious. But what he hopes to accomplish through a legal team (assuming the accuracy of Klein’s report) isn’t clear. I don’t believe there’s a defamation suit in anyone’s future over this.
Klein says that the Clintons are contemplating the option of Hillary resigning in the event Obama continues to make her the scapegoat. But this would be a very risky play. If she resigned before the election, Democrats would never forgive her for undermining Obama’s reelection chances in a fit of pique. If she resigned after the election, assuming an Obama victory, the president probably would happily accept it, and she would be out in the cold. That might not be a terrible place to be considering what a second Obama term likely would hold in store. However, Hillary would be leaving under a cloud.
Hillary’s leverage is at its peak now, when Bill is leading the Obama reelection charge and when a sudden resignation would represent a huge setback for Obama. The Clintons can try to use this leverage to halt White House efforts to scapegoat Hillary. Then, they can hope the issue blows over.
However, the Benghazi story isn’t likely to blow over. And after November 6, the Clintons can do nothing to avoid the scapegoating of Hillary by the Obama administration.