With Just Hours Before Election Day, Hillary Slips Below 270 While Trump Rises
On Friday, October 28, 2016 Hillary Clinton lost the last vestige of control she still held over her quest to achieve her long-held goal of becoming the first woman president.
With the announcement by FBI Director James Comey that newly discovered information garnered from an independent investigation had led him to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s unauthorized use of an secret server to conduct the nation’s business as its top diplomat, the matter may now be out of her hands.
That independent investigation revolves around emails found on the laptop shared by Clinton aide and confidante, Huma Abedin, and her now-estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, who was caught sending sexually explicit texts with photos to a minor.
No matter what happens in the remaining days before November 8 when Americans finally go to the polls to vote, Clinton will be the first candidate to be under investigation by the FBI on Election Day.
If elected, she may well retain that status during the 70 days until inauguration – and beyond.
Instead of spending the transition period as previous president-elects have done – choosing cabinet members and draperies, marching bands for the parade, poets for the benediction and speechwriters for the address – Clinton will be facing questions about not only the email investigation, but as many as four ongoing probes into her family foundation and the copacetic relationship between it had with her State Department and the massive benefits made to the Clintons’ private coffers.
And then there is… Wikileaks.
Julian Assange has, so far, made good on his promise to continue leaking documents on a near-daily basis that reveal disturbing details about both the inner workings of the Clinton camp and the candidate herself.
Even if Clinton is eventually absolved of any culpability, the widely-held perception, even among Democrats, that she is dishonest and untrustworthy will have attached itself to the opening days of a Clinton administration denying her any so-called “honeymoon” period most presidents enjoy.
Her presidential “to do” list will take a backseat to her more personal and pressing need to defend, deflect and respond to questions about the unfolding investigations.
No matter what the election results on the night of November 8, the questions will remain.
On June 17, 1972, the Washington Post printed a brief police report of a break-in and attempted burglary at the Watergate complex headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The paragraph appeared on page 17.
On November 7, Richard Nixon was re-elected in a record landslide with 570 electoral votes to the 17 won by Sen. George McGovern, who failed to carry even his home state of South Dakota. Nixon earned over 60 percent of the popular vote.
On August 7, 1974, Republican leadership went to the White House and told the president they could not support him in the impeachment proceedings he faced for his role not in the DNC break-in, but in the cover-up of it.
Two days later, the first president in U.S. history bid an excruciatingly personal farewell to his staff as the nation watched on television.
The newly sworn-in President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, walked Nixon and his wife, Pat, to the South Lawn and private citizen Nixon boarded Marine One for his final trip from the White House.
Investigations take time – the public trust demands it.
But that is something that was understood better in the days before round-the-clock cable news coverage, before social media became an independent source for unvetted “news” and ripe for rumor, and before the internet allowed information to be transmitted instantly.
A careful, thorough investigation doesn’t suit the public at the moment.
It certainly doesn’t suit Hillary Clinton whose ever-evolving explanations, justifications, rationalizations have been revealed, one by one, as lies.
Clinton’s demand that Comey release the information that led to his decision to reopen the investigation is spurious spin and beyond disingenuously manipulative of the public.
Clinton and her surrogates know that law enforcement at all levels are required to respond to any such inquiry, even from the press, with the standard mantra: “We do not comment on ongoing investigations.”
Beyond that – at what point did it become possible for the target of an investigation to demand – anything?
If Clinton wants the information released, as she says she does, and “on the table,” where she says Comey must put it, she has an easy way to make that happen.
Publish it herself.
And now, Hillary has gone below 270 electoral votes for the first time ever in CNN's own electoral map projections.
Even the 'Clinton News Network' sees the writing on the wall.
Let's hope America does come Tuesday.