In the many decades I have had the pleasure of covering the Clintons I have developed several themes about them that have over the years been validated by fact. One theme is that there is a Clinton Curse.
It afflicts many who come into contact with the fabulous couple. In the early days, the Curse brought down the McDougals, Webb Hubbell, Vince Foster and former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, all of them by now figures known only to history. More recently it was Jeffrey Epstein, the child molester and Bill’s pal and fellow epicurean. Now quite possibly, Josh Earnest, press secretary to President Obama, will be added to the list along with Hillary’s aides, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Bryan Pagliano and Jake Sullivan. Possibly even David Brock will suffer the Clinton Curse. The Clintons are a couple to be avoided. Even the Democratic Party might not be spared come Election Day 2016.
Of course, the Clintons often turn to their favor circumstances that might spell doom to others. Consider the present imbroglio involving Hillary, her mysterious personal server, the FBI, and the aforementioned Clintonistas: Ms. Abedin, Ms. Mills, Mr. Pagliano and Mr. Sullivan. Many people whom I talk to tell me the FBI’s interest in that personal server is ominous for Hillary, a matter I wrote about in this column three weeks ago. Yet this imbroglio when viewed from the Clintons’ perspective might actually be helping them in their quest for the presidency.
The FBI’s investigation is finding so much additional evidence of wrongdoing by the Clintons and their Clintonistas that the copious evidence is actually impeding the bureau from recommending indictments. No sooner does the bureau think it has wrapped up one set of indictments than it trips across another category of malfeasance. For instance, it seems that the FBI has now found the Clintons to have co-mingled their foundation’s interests with Hillary’s State Department work, and then there is her campaign fundraising, Bill’s exorbitant lecture fees, and — who knows — the needs of the Clinton Library. If Hillary and Bill are lucky, the FBI investigations will be mired in new evidence for months to come.
She will plod along fighting off the sallies of a 74-year-old 1960s retread spewing Marxist hooey and, as of Monday, without the comic benefits of Martin O’Malley, whom radio host Chris Plante calls “the Naked Cowboy.” If she eventually gets the Democratic nomination, the FBI will be faced with the dilemma of recommending the indictment of the Democratic Party’s convention-certified presidential nominee. Has America ever sat through a presidential nomination in which one of the candidates was under indictment?
For the low-information voters, I shall answer the question. The answer is that every major party nominee has been as clean as a hound’s tooth, at least until elected. Even the late and lamented Richard M. Nixon had yet to be indicted when elected president. Actually, he never was indicted, as strange as that may seem to the low-information crowd.
So my guess is that Hillary is hoping to brazen it out. Keep the FBI busy with the droppings from her server: the shocking intelligence breeches, the incriminating foundation solicitations, and forget not her tantalizing hints about yoga — her yoga! She will hope to cop the nomination at the Democratic National Convention and try for victory in November, though that now appears unlikely. She had a chance against former Republican Gov. George Pataki, but when he bowed out of the race I think her chances for the presidency went aglimmer.
Meanwhile I see the Clinton Curse preparing to take down still others around the Clintons, for instance, Ms. Abedin, Ms. Mills, Mr. Pagliano and Mr. Sullivan. One really does not have to venture too close to the Clintons for the Curse to strike. One can merely be trying to sidestep, say Hillary’s emails, and whammo. Think of poor Josh Earnest at his press briefing Friday. An inquisitive journalist asked him if he could say “with certainty and confidence that Secretary Clinton will not be indicted because of this email scandal?” Instead of saying he could not comment on an ongoing investigation, Mr. Earnest implied that he had been in communication with the Justice Department and prosecutors. He spoke of “what we know from the Department of Justice.” He authoritatively added that “it does not seem to be headed in that direction.” Who was he talking to? What did they tell him? Who authorized the president’s press secretary to call the Justice Department? Was Mr. Earnest’s comment a direction to the FBI to subside?
It is all very irregular. When will Mr. Earnest get his day before a congressional hearing?
• R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is editor-in-chief of The American Spectator. He is author of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson Inc.