- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 3, 2015

“Could this be the scandal that finally sinks Hillary Clinton?” asks Robert Tracinski, senior writer for The Federalist, even as the ever-unfolding email matter draws endless speculation, glaring truths, legal maneuvers and one Al-Jazeera interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden — who told the network it was “completely ridiculous” that Mrs. Clinton’s private email system was ever insecure when she was secretary of state. And Mrs. Clinton herself? She campaigns on, of course — this weekend in Puerto Rico, News Hampshire and Iowa.

Mr. Tracinski, however, cites five reasons why something serious might be up. First off, it’s not about Bill Clinton this time, he says. The email matter is also about a real issue, national security, and its “specific and concrete.” Fourth, the mishandling of classified information is something people have been prosecuted for, Mr. Tracinski says. And fifth, the email question turns Mrs. Clinton’s major accomplishment — being secretary of state — into a liability.

“When it comes to actual prosecution, the Clintons are masters at getting off on a technicality, claiming that they didn’t really violate the strict letter of the law because it all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. And you know they can afford flesh-eating lawyers who will work every angle for them if this goes to court,” Mr. Tracinski observes. “But we also know just how ambitious the Clintons are. We know that the real punishment for them isn’t prosecution or prison. It is being denied access to power. All this scandal really has to do is to make Hillary Clinton look unfit to be commander in chief.

“After all, nobody can keep getting away with this stuff. It’s all got to catch up with them some time. Doesn’t it?”

THE BIDEN BUMP



While observers wonder if Vice President Joseph R. Biden will reveal his 2016 intentions during an appearance on late-night TV next week, the Democrats are already revealing something else: They’re getting their hopes up that Mr. Biden will jump in the race.

“In this week’s poll, 44 percent of registered voters who call themselves Democrats choose Clinton as their preferred nominee. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders remains in second place, but Biden is clearly catching up, gaining seven points in the last two weeks. The as-yet-unannounced candidate is only four points behind Sanders. The other announced candidates. Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley, are all in low single digits,” notes Cathy Frankovic, an analyst for YouGov polls, which surveyed 1,000 voters for the insight.

And about Mr. Sanders, who turns 74 on Tuesday: He has achieved a kind of folk hero status of late. “Happy birthday Bernie! You have inspired me to fight for this country and to not lose hope that things can change for the better,” wrote one fan in a message to his campaign.

There’s even an accolade of sorts among Republicans for the self-described socialist. The poll also found that 55 percent of the GOP respondents said Mr. Sanders could actually win the 2016 election — compared to 53 percent who said the same of Mrs. Clinton.

RALLY AGAINST IRAN NUKE DEAL STILL ON

Cancel it? Heavens, no. The upcoming rally at the U.S. Capitol against the U.S. nuclear agreement with Iran is still on — and has gained much momentum despite the fact that President Obama has secured enough support in the Senate to prevent Republican forces from blocking it. Some star power is involved.

The speaker’s roster for the event on Wednesday afternoon now includes Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz, Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Mo Brooks, Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Mike Pompeo and Ted S. Yoho; Donald Trump; broadcasters Glenn Beck and Mark Levin; American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp; Citizens United founder David Bossie; Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein; Heritage Foundation scholar Genevieve Wood; and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, the major organizing force for what’s being called a “historic” event.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest referred to it as a “pro-war rally,” however, predicting that Mssrs. Cruz and Trump, plus former Vice President Dick Cheney, would “emerge as the leading voices of opposition” to the Iran deal after Labor Day.

TALK OF REPUBLICAN RIDES

How Republican hopefuls get to their campaign stops is of interest. Yes, indeed, Donald Trump has his personal 757 aircraft with the svelte purple logo, but Gov. Scott Walker has his Harley-Davidson — very much in evidence this weekend. The GOP candidate plans a two-day motorcycle ride through New Hampshire, stopping in all 10 counties of the Granite State.

Mr. Walker literally gets rolling at high noon Sunday from a VFW Post in Milford, with pitstops in Jaffrey, Washington, Salisbury, New Hampton and Plymouth. When Monday dawns, the governor — a veteran rider — roars off from Twin Mountain, followed by Conway, Sanbornville, Rochester, Salem and Amherst. This is Mr. Walker’s seventh trip to New Hampshire, incidentally.

“Walker took on the special interests and the big labor union bosses as governor of Wisconsin. He fought to put power back in the hands of workers — and he won,” his campaign advises. “Throughout his tour of the Live Free or Die state, Walker will discuss his record of implementing commonsense, fair reforms that gave power and money back to the people.”

WEEKEND CANDIDATE TRACKER

Sen. Marco Rubio and Hillary Rodham Clinton are the most far-flung of the presidential hopefuls this weekend; both will be in Puerto Rico on Friday — he for a policy speech, she for a fundraiser. Mr. Rubio then journeys to South Carolina, where he hosts a town hall with Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy; Mrs. Clinton is off to New Hampshire, then it’s on to Iowa.

And speaking of candidates in New Hampshire, for the GOP, it’s Carly Fiorina, Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who all make multiple appearances before attending the GOP Labor Day Picnic in Salem. For the Democrats, it’s Sen. Bernard Sanders, Lincoln Chafee and Mrs. Clinton. In Iowa, the sole Republican present is Gov. Bobby Jindal. For the Dems, it’s the busy Mrs. Clinton and Martin O’Malley.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The James O. Crooker House, built in 1865 in Norway, Maine. Five bedrooms, two baths, living room, parlor, 2,407 square feet on one-third acre in historic town. Original woodworking and decorative trim and molding, Doric pilasters, wood floors, gabled roof with circular window, tin ceilings, six-over-six windows, clapboard siding, shutters. Two-story barn, garage, listed on National Register of Historic Places. Priced at $78,000 through MainePreservation.org; look under “historic real estate” heading on right side of page.

POLL DU JOUR

80 percent of Americans want Congress to pass legislation to create jobs; 34 percent say it is “likely” that will happen.

64 percent want Congress to pass immigration reform legislation; 34 percent say it is “likely” that will happen.

64 percent want Congress to repeal Obamacare; 32 percent say it is “likely” that will happen.

58 percent of Americans say it’s more important to have a member of Congress who can compromise rather than stick to principles; 42 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent overall say it’s more important to have a president who can compromise rather than stick to principles; 42 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,957 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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