Though they have been quick to defend Hillary Clinton over her use of private email servers, it is obvious that the Obama administration is chiefly concerned with distancing themselves from the scandal. Both Josh Earnest and Marie Harf have left themselves wiggle room in case more comes of this scandal than has yet been revealed. And knowing the Clintons, we’re not far from that date.
They’ve already hurt themselves by changing their story, a corner they were backed into largely because of Hillary’s silence. Obama has claimed that he first heard of Clinton’s private email right alongside the rest of the country. But since that exposed him to the juicy speculation that he never once sent or received an email from Hillary during her entire tenure as Secretary of State, Obama’s press secretary has been forced to walk that claim back. On Monday, Earnest admitted that the two “did have the occasion to email one another.” Meaning, of course, that Obama was well aware that she was not using an official State Department address.
At the heart of it, this may very well be much ado about nothing. A policy infraction, amounting to little. But the longer Hillary remains silent and the more the administration changes its story, the more this looks like an active coverup. And if they are closing ranks, it means they have something to hide. Considering that this scandal erupted as a result of a congressional investigation into Benghazi, it doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots. Conspiracy theory territory? Perhaps. But sometimes smoke leads to fire.
It’s obvious that Democrats are starting to feel the heat. On Meet the Press Sunday, Senator Dianne Feinstein pleaded with Clinton to set the record straight. “Step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is,” she said. “From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her.”
The Clinton faithful have insisted from the start that this is a non-story, but now that she has gone into hiding, they are starting to worry. They are starting to finally consider that they may want to have a backup in case her 2016 ambitions run aground. It’s very unusual for us not to have heard a single viable Democratic contender other than Clinton by this stage in the game. Someone will surely run against her, but they will have a hard time gaining ground. Unless, of course, the DNC smells trouble. And that trouble is bubbling on the stove.