“Anybody But Clinton” — or “ABC” — is now the battle cry of the Dems in the presidential campaign.
Here in swing state Colorado, and in other swing states as well, recent polls show Hillary Clinton badly trailing unknown Republican candidates. In particular, her scores on trustworthiness have plunged as people see her record of mendacity.
I’m not talking about the stale scandals of her husband’s presidency 15 years ago — the ones that Hillary attributed to a “vast right-wing conspiracy” until a certain stained blue dress turned up.
No, I’m talking about fresh ones. Just recently, Hillary:
• Set up a homebrew computer system on which she illegally intermingled government business as secretary of state, foundation business and personal business;
• Deleted 34,000 emails from that system after Congress requested them;
• Falsely maintained that there was no Congressional subpoena to produce those emails, and
• Falsely claimed that her email system did not transmit any classified government information. (The New York Times recently reported that in fact, it did. Two inspector generals — both appointed by President Barack Obama — are calling for a Justice Department investigation.)
Even prominent Dems such as Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein has publicly declared that Hillary has a “difficult relationship with the truth.”
While some of her lies are unethical if not criminal, and some threaten national security (foreign governments undoubtedly hacked into her homebrew email system and have possession of all her emails, even though Congress and the American people do not), other lies are banal. For example, she:
• Falsely claimed that all her grandparents were immigrants (three of the four were not);
• Falsely claimed that she was named after the first man to summit Mt. Everest (but Everest was not summited until five years after she was born); and
• Falsely claimed that she was the object of sniper fire when landing in Bosnia.
In short, she lies even when she doesn’t have to. In the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist William Safire, she’s not just a liar but a “congenital” one.
Lying is her nature.
In those polls, she also scores badly on the question of whether she’s a “strong leader.” Maybe that’s because people won’t follow leaders who are more concerned about their own money than about the people they want to lead.
Accepting mammoth “donations” from foreign governments while entrusted with the responsibilities of secretary of state isn’t the trait of a strong leader. Accepting a 10,000 percent profit in the cattle futures market from “advice” given by a giant company that was regulated by the state of which her husband was governor isn’t the trait of a strong leader. Charging charitable institutions $250,000 for a one-hour speech isn’t the trait of a strong leader.
Those are the traits of a greedy and corrupt one.
Unlike her husband, she’s not even likable. The best that Obama could say is that she is likable “enough.”
Even the left-leaning press is not charmed, as she isolates herself from them (literally with a rope in one recent instance). When she finally gave an interview recently, it was with an unknown reporter who was a friend of a Hillary aide.
This is a candidate for president who wants reporters to cover her but not question her.
And so the “ABC” movement is growing among Dems. But to whom can they turn? Well, there’s an obscure 73-year-old self-described socialist from Vermont named Bernie-something. But this Bernie has never held a steady job outside of politics, advocates a 90 percent tax rate and wasn’t even a Dem until he decided to run for president as one.
Then there’s a former governor named Martin O’Malley. He recently told Dem partisans, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” For uttering the second and third sentences, those Dem partisans booed him off the stage.
There is even talk of a challenge from Vice President Joe Biden, known mostly for inappropriate statements and, more recently, for inappropriate touching.
Is that all they’ve got? Surely the Dems can spell “ABC” better than that. How about:
• Al Sharpton. As an 80-time guest at the White House, he already knows his way around. Moreover, if he were president, the IRS might forgive his $4 million tax delinquency (not that the IRS would ever do anything politically motivated).
• Elizabeth Warren. She made a living on her false claim to be a female Native American, but at least she didn’t take bribes.
• Cher. Her campaign slogan can be, “You got me, babe.”
Hmm. Come to think of it, the Dems apparently don’t have an ABC who could plausibly run for president on the Dem ticket.
And there isn’t “Anybody Who IS Clinton” who can plausibly run either, since the Constitution prohibits another term by Bill (though I suppose Obama might overturn that by executive order).
This might get interesting.
(Published in The Aspen Times on Aug. 2, 2015 at http://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/17481183-113/beaton-the-dems-try-to-spell-abc)