- - Friday, October 2, 2015

For the better part of the last two years, the experts, pundits and Washington insiders have proclaimed that Hillary Rodham Clinton was the inevitable 2016 presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. She would sweep to an historic victory with overwhelming support from women, we were told, and continue the left-leaning revolution launched by Barack Obama.

A funny thing happened on the way to her coronation however. Hillary’s ill-fated campaign launch, her “Scooby Van” foolishness, her meetings with 6 or 8 hand picked supporters to discuss the issues and her freezing out the media all pushed her campaign, and her poll numbers down. Oh sure, she raised a small fortune through various Super PACs, but had a noticeably hard time drawing a crowd or authentically connecting with people.

Hillary can’t make a call to her daughter without first focus-testing talking points. She is so scripted and stiff that voters overwhelmingly find her unlikable. But the pieces of the political puzzle that have sent her once inevitable nomination reeling is her email scandal and her role in the deaths of Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

It was through the lens of Benghazi that America learned Hillary Clinton, she of the ever-present Blackberry, had never sent a single email from a State Department email account. How could this be? As it turned out, Hillary not only used her own private email, she set up her own server. This server assured that no one would have access to any of her email unless she released it to them. She also added a number of her State Department staff to the server so that their email couldn’t be tracked either.

By law, any government related records, including email, were to be turned over to the State Department upon her departure as Secretary of State. Hillary turned over no email at that time. In fact it wasn’t until nearly 18 months later, when requested to surrender her records that Hillary began the process of reviewing her emails. After deleting more than 30,000 emails she deemed personal, she provided the balance to State - in printed form. Rather than provide electronic copies that could easily be sorted, reviewed, searched and stored, Hillary Clinton gave State about 60,000 printed paper pages and wished them well.

So much for “being as cooperative and forthcoming” as she possibly could.

Hillary didn’t follow the law on turning over her records. She wasn’t as forthcoming as possible and while first publicly addressing the issue in March. In fact at that time she declared she would not be turning over the server with her email information on it. Months later, under enormous pressure, she changed her mind and did provide the server to the FBI, although a letter from her attorney claimed the server had been “wiped” and now contained no information.

Through all of this, Hillary’s numbers made a steady decline. A national poll found that the terms people associate most with Hillary Clinton are “liar” and “dishonest”. Self proclaimed socialist and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is now leading Hillary by 16 points in New Hampshire polling and by 9 points in Iowa. Rumors of Vice President Joe Biden jumping into the race are rampant. Contributions and endorsements have been slower coming for Hillary than most anticipated.

With a DNC debate and congressional hearings on Benghazi on her dance card for October it looked as though Hillary might be knocked out of the race altogether before the Democrats even made it to the first caucus in Iowa.

Then a funny thing happened. Help came to Hillary from the most unlikely of places. The odds-on favorite to be the next Republican Speaker of the House  threw Hillary a lifeline. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, while being interviewed about his potential promotion, this week bragged that the Benghazi hearings have made Hillary Clinton vulnerable.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” Mr. McCarthy said on Fox News. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.”

In a span of 30 seconds the GOP Leader’s comments shifted the Benghazi hearings from serious political information to partisan political theater. His comments give credence to Hillary’s claims that it’s all just a witch hunt. Rather than a dishonest, conniving dirty politician on defense, Hillary Clinton will now spin the hearing that she is the victim of a mean spirited attempt to sully her good name.

Make no mistake, Hillary knows how to milk being the victim. As the only first lady to ever have an unfavorable rating with the public, it took her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky to bring her numbers back into positive territory. In 2008 she finished third in the Iowa caucus and promptly thereafter cried while telling a reporter “how hard it is sometimes” to be a woman candidate. Poor victim Hillary won New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony could have been a knock out blow to her candidacy. Instead, compliments of Mr. McCarthy, it will be spun by Team Clinton and by the eager mainstream media as evidence that she is the victim of a mean-spirited attack by those awful Republicans. Despite the fact that Ambassador Chris Stevens is still dead and we’ll be no closer to knowing why, poor victim Hillary will have a resurgence in the polls.

Thanks a bunch Kevin McCarthy.

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