I disagree with the view of John and Roger Simon that James Comey’s statement exonerating Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing will likely sink her bid for the presidency. If this were 30 years ago, it probably would. If the Republicans hadn’t decided to nominate Donald Trump, it probably would. But since the alternatives in this election are Clinton and Trump, I doubt that Comey’s statement will even knock Hillary off stride unless there’s plenty of blow back from current FBI personal.
What has Comey said that’s adverse to Clinton? He showed, though he didn’t say, that Clinton lied about important aspects of this matter. But lying is not considered a disqualification for the presidency. As John noted, most voters already consider Clinton dishonest. It seems that roughly 65 percent of Americans hold this view. Still, Hillary leads Trump in almost every poll.
Bill Clinton was known to be a liar. For example, he was shown to have had sex with “that woman.” Yet he remained a popular president and almost surely would have been reelected in 2000.
Lying to the American people is no longer a big deal. Moral standards have slipped significantly, as the left desires.
Comey also said that Clinton was extremely careless in the handling of sensitive material. Even voters who don’t care whether the president is honest presumably don’t want her to be careless.
But what’s troublesome about Clinton’s carelessness is that it might have made America less safe (though Comey was unable to find that it did). The issue, in other words, is national security. Voters who view Trump as a loose cannon, or are simply afraid of the unknown, will tend to choose Clinton because they would rather have a president who is careless in handling important documents than one who is reckless in dealing with foreign powers and deciding on matters of war and peace.
John says that if Hillary were a skillful politician, she might be able to throw off the albatross of Comey’s findings. But Hillary isn’t skillful; she’s like Richard Nixon (note, though, that Nixon was elected president twice, once in a landslide).
There’s force to John’s argument. However, I don’t believe Hillary will have to be skillful to defeat Trump.
When two atrocious candidates are competing, the winner is likely to be the one who keeps her head down, organizes effectively, and blitzes the airwaves with ads attacking the other candidate. The loser is likely to be the candidate who constantly places attention on himself.
Hillary is focused, organized, and rolling in money. Trump is undisciplined, diffuse, and, somehow, apparently skint.
The key here is that Clinton is running for president because she craves power. Trump is running because he craves attention. Thus, Trump inevitably will be the candidate who constantly focuses attention on himself.
John and I both are speculating. The difference in our predictions may simply be down to the fact that John is more optimistic than I am (but how pessimistic is it for me to be predicting Trump’s defeat). He always has been; something to do with Donna Reed, maybe (inside joke).
As John says, check with us in November and we will see how our predictions turn out.