TROUBLING SIGNS

By Ukachi Uwadinobi

THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF HEAD-SCRATCHING AMONG DEMOCRATS THESE DAYS CONCERNING former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the wake of an explosive New York Times report alleging she had used a personal email account to conduct official business during her four-year tenure as head of the State Department. Republicans, who see her as the likely Democratic presidential nominee are morosely worried she might be the one to keep the GOP from recapturing the White House in 2016. They have swiftly pounced on the Times’ report using it to stir ill sentiments and cast doubt over Mrs. Clinton’s credibility. What is more worrisome though, is the stentorian echo of disappointment being felt among some Democrats in the upper echelons of the party concerned about the potential impact on the 2016 race.
Mrs. Clinton though, had tweeted that she’d since submitted 55,000 pages of her emails to the State Department to look at but that seemed to have done little, if any, to stem the barrage of attacks from the right-wing who are having a field day since the New York Times report came out. In fairness, Clinton’s supporters are pushing back and raising the question, so what’s the big deal since others before her had used private email accounts too? Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, who served in the George W. Bush administration, stated that he used his private email accounts while head of the State Department. Besides, there was no official policy in the government mandating the use of State Department’s assigned email account to conduct official business while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. It became an official government directive from President Obama after Mrs. Clinton had left the administration. So technically, it was at her own discretion whether or not to use government email account for official business.
It is the appearance of malfeasance, secret motive, hubris, feeling above the law — as Republican critics are vehemently claiming — that is giving rise to the troubling signs and the head-scratching over the private email fuss, when, as some observers have noted, she should have known better, given the history of right-wing hostility associated with the Clinton name over the years. From a public relations perspective, what can be done to mitigate the damage? Experts on presidential campaign operations and management, such as David Axelrod who managed Obama’s candidacy to a two-term victory, has suggested that Mrs. Clinton should get out her explanations for the private email account into the press before announcing her candidacy to put the matter to rest. And she should, in essence, borrow a leaf from Obama’s playbook in 2007, when, embroiled in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversy, he made an impassioned televised speech that riveted the nation and calmed the storm.Sharp critics in conservative media circles who share a common disdain for the Clintons such as radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, opine that the private email issue has taken what the right-wing opponents perceive as the Clinton arrogance to a crescendo, where loyal Democrats are now willing to defy their traditional defense code of conduct: circle the wagon and shield one of their own who gets into trouble. For this scathing report to have come from the New York Times of all places — a liberal behemoth — Limbaugh believes, may be a signal that the Democratic Party establishment doesn’t want Hillary Clinton to run. Rather it wants others who are waiting in the wings — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley or Vice President Joe Biden — to run. O’Malley, who signaled an early indication to run and then backed down in deference to Mrs. Clinton when it seemed there was an overwhelming support among Democrats for her to run, had decided not to seek a run for the U.S. Senate, which he was considering as a serious alternative to running for the White House. And that may mean a run for the White House after all.

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Posted by on Mar 21 2015. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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