The hottest topics of conversation at the moment in circles that care about politics are two:
- Will Hillary Clinton (D) drop out of the presidential race in light of the criminal investigations relating to her use of a private email server for all purposes, including receipt and transmission of classified materials, during her tenure as Secretary of State?
- Will Vice-president Joe Biden (D) enter the primary race for the Democrat nomination as Ms. Clinton’s electability numbers continue to decline?
I note that these are topics for those of us “who care about politics” because the overwhelming majority of people could care less at the moment. Most people are busy – working hard to put food on the table or to keep the doors to their businesses open, raising children, and managing the day-to-day vicissitudes of life. It is a fact upon which the political classes of both parties depend. It is the reason that despite alarming disapproval numbers (15.3% approval, 75% disapproval according to the latest Real Clear Politics summary of independent polls) over ninety percent of incumbents are returned year after year. The trust voters had in their politicians has given way to universal cynicism. It is the reason that three non-politicians (Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina) are leading most polls in early primary states for the Republican nomination and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist) is gaining rapidly on the presumptive Democrat nominee, Ms. Clinton.
But be that as it may, let’s get back to the questions at hand.
Will Ms. Clinton withdraw from the presidential race? Absolutely not. Not even if Mr. Biden enters the race. Not even if Mr. Sanders beats her in Iowa and New Hampshire. Not even if labor leaders begin endorsing Mr. Biden as expected. Not even if President Barack Obama provides active or tacit support for Mr. Biden. The only thing that will cause Ms. Clinton to withdraw from the race is if she is indicted for crimes involving her use of a private server as head of the State Department (withholding and/or destruction of evidence, sending and receiving classified materials on her private server, etc.), public corruption relating to use of her public office to enhance her private foundation, her husband’s businesses, and/or defraud taxpayers by violating rules relating to private use of charitable foundation funds; or public corruption, perjury and withholding evidence from Congress relating to the Benghazi attack by Islamic terrorists resulting in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
But none of that is going to happen because the Justice Department is not going to indict a prominent presidential candidate. That was demonstrated with regard to former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) and Rev. Al Sharpton. In addition, Mr. Obama’s Justice Department is now solely in charge of obtaining and prosecuting such indictments and each of those charges reflect poorly on Mr. Obama and his administration.
From the day Ms. Clinton first entered public service she has consistently lied, cheated, withheld evidence and used public office to enrich herself and her husband. She was fired from the Watergate staff for lying, withholding evidence and unethical conduct. When she failed the bar exam for Washington, D.C. she moved to Little Rock and moved in with Mr. Clinton. Shortly after Mr. Clinton became attorney general, Ms. Clinton was hired by the Rose Law Firm – the largest and most politically influential law firm in Arkansas. And in 1979, again shortly after Mr. Clinton became governor, Ms. Clinton became a partner in the Rose Law Firm. Ms. Clinton’s star began to shine so long as she was positioned as the path to Mr. Clinton.
During Mr. Clinton’s twelve years as governor, it became an accepted practice that those requiring government influence to direct their legal and lobbying work through the Rose Law Firm where Ms. Clinton soon rose to the position of managing partner. During the latter part of Mr. Clinton’s terms as governor, Ms. Clinton’s income from the Rose Law Firm increased to slightly over $100,000 per year excluding income that went into the firm’s retirement plan and the increase in Ms. Clinton’s equity position in the firm based on the amount of business that she was responsible for bringing into the firm. Ms. Clinton was not a particularly skillful lawyer but she was a rainmaker.
But even though the Clintons enjoyed a comfortable life in Little Rock (population under 160,000), their compatriots from Yale Law School were hitting their strides in the Washington, New York and Boston silk stocking law firms and earning multiples of the Clinton’s annual income. And as Mr. Clinton grew in national prominence, the Clintons began to “rub elbows” with the very rich and the very powerful of America. Their comfortable life in Little Rock made them “little fish” in the big pond of movers and shakers in America.
It was about this time that we first got a glimpse of the extraordinary means to which Ms. Clinton would go to increase their income. There was the Whitewater real estate investment in which they became partners with their friends Jim and Susan McDougal in a failed real estate development. Although the Clintons were never indicted the McDougals were indicted and convicted of criminal fraud. In addition Susan McDougal was held in contempt for her refusal to testify during the investigation of the Clintons. In the end Mr. Clinton pardoned Ms. McDougal for both the fraud and the contempt. (See how that works. It is good to be the king – or the President of the United States.)
And then there was Ms. Clinton’s infamous conversion of $1000 to $100,000 virtually overnight in series of commodity trades with the help of James Blair, then outside counsel for mega-giant Tyson Foods. Ms. Clinton was allowed to trade without the requisite cash necessary for commodity trades primarily because Mr. Blair used his influence with the commodities broker to allow the trades. According to the Washington Post, Mr. Blair stated:
“’I was a very good customer,’ he said, noting he paid Bone $800,000 in commissions over the years. ‘They weren’t going to hassle me. If I brought them somebody, they weren’t going to hassle them.’”
The Washington Post article continued:
“Blair, who at the time was outside counsel to Tyson Foods Inc., Arkansas’ largest employer, says he was advising Clinton out of friendship, not to seek political gain for his state-regulated client. At the time of many of the trades, Bill Clinton was governor.”
After her “fabulous success” as a commodities trader one would expect that Ms. Clinton would continue to dabble in the market but with her $100,000 in hand, she cashed out and has never again ventured into that market.
The Clinton’s have accumulated a staggering amount of wealth in a very short period of time without producing a single usable product other than influence peddling. The endless parade of rich people, corporations and nations providing cash and benefits to the Clintons at times when critical government decisions rest in their hands is staggering. The fact that Congressional members without a pot to pee in become millionaires after several years in Congress despite their modest pay represents the same genre of corruption but just at a different level of influence.
And the most puzzling thing is that the “women’s movement” has embraced a woman whose career has been entirely due to the success of her husband o the exclusion of a woman whose extraordinary successes are due solely and only to her own intelligence, skills and hard work – Carly Fiorina.
So, Ms. Clinton will continue as a candidate despite all of her ethical shortcoming because it is the primary way to avoid indictment, conviction and imprisonment by a government as corrupt as she is at virtually all levels.
Will Mr. Biden announce his candidacy? Of course he will. The only thing that might restrain him is the threat of disclosure of some illicit secret by the Clintons’ attack machine. It is doubtful that there is one – Mr. Biden seems to be one of the few members of Congress that has not enriched himself through use of his public office.
Mr. Biden has twice before sought the presidency. His first attempt in 1988 was torpedoed when it was disclosed that he had plagiarized portions of a stump speech and allegations of plagiarism in law school and inflated academic performance were revealed. (These are mild in contrast to the demonstrably corrupt Ms. Clinton but at that time were deemed critical by the Democrat electorate.) Mr. Biden tried again in 2008 but was quickly eclipsed by the Ms. Clinton and the upstart senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Mr. Biden is most noted for his serial gaffes and the comment of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about Mr. Biden’s service in government:
“I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Given Mr. Biden’s unswerving support of Mr. Obama’s disastrous foreign policy that criticism is given a regular and repeated new life almost daily.
Will Mr. Biden run again? Absolutely, like the scorpion that stung the frog as it was being saved, that just what politicians do.