It is day 2 of Hillary Clinton’s email crisis. As predicted, this is getting major play in the mainstream and partisan press. I’m ready to make some more observations and predictions:
This is a huge issue that is going to generate thousands of hours of airtime on cable news. Websites, video games, books and documentaries will be made about the issue.
- To roughly 40% of the country, Hillary and Bill Clinton represent ultimate evil, there is nothing they can do that isn’t corrupt, illicit, fiendish and anti-American. To this 40% block, the email controversy is going to be fascinating and worthy of thorough investigation and conjecture. To them, this scandal will be far greater than Watergate.
- There is another 40% of the country that believes conservatives and Republicans have been lying to the American people about the Clinton’s for a quarter of a century. After Travelgate, Filegate, Whitewater, and even, as reported by Rush Limbaugh, that Vince Foster was found murdered in Hillary Clinton’s Washington apartment (hint: she didn’t even have an apartment), this 40% of Americans believe that every time they are told about a so-called scandal involving Hillary Clinton, it turns out to be nothing but a partisan smoke-making machine and should be ignored as sheer nonsense. They believe that Hillary is basically a hard-working, non-nonsense moderate, centrist, Democrat, and that all attempts to paint her as a radical, corrupt or as part of the “left” is absolute partisan baloney. For these Americans, this email controversy will have either no impact on their support for Clinton or will make them like/support her even more.
- The remaining 20% of Americans is made up of voters who don’t have particularly strong feelings about Hillary Clinton or how many email accounts a government official has. To them, this is the sort of classic nonsense issue unrelated to helping people’s pocketbooks that makes them tune out from politics and news about government. Predicted impact on this group: zero.
So I am going on record that this crisis will be a very noisy distraction for awhile, but will have ultimately no impact on Hillary Clinton’s career because of the already calcified political environment surrounding her.
What do you think?
TJ Walker coaches politicians how to handle themselves in a media crisis. You can reach him at 212.764.4955.