Why Are Republicans So Fearful Of A Hillary Nomination?
This is a 2-part article which looks into the details of why Republicans perceive a Hillary nomination a hard pill to swallow, a very hard nut to crack and how they may have already begun to brace the party for a possible Hillary presidency.
It’s too late now for Republicans to get their wishes this Christmas, unless some truly earth shattering revelations come to derail Hillary’s aspiration. For almost two years now, the Republican Party has been looking under every rock to find something, anything to put a stop to Hillary’s candidacy. It all began when she announced she would not be serving the Obama’s administration for a second term as Secretary of State. Like all politicians, she provided a litany of “personal” reasons to leave the life of politics behind in order to spend time with her family and serve in the Clinton Foundation, an operation organization which helps the financially least fortunate people in the world.
Although Mrs. Clinton left the post of Secretary of State with the primary objective of seeking the Democrat nomination for the presidency in 2016, she was not completely convinced at first that’s what she wanted to do. In fact, she weighed several times the possibility that she may not win the Democrat nomination; she considered the “what if” Joe Biden decided to run scenario; she even considered another “Obama like” scenario. After all, in 2008, when all pundits gave her thumbs up as the inevitable nominee for the Democrat Party, a junior senator from Illinois proved them all wrong and knocked her out of the race. Mrs. Clinton didn’t want a repeat of the 2008 presidential elections; she couldn’t suffer another such political humiliation. She weighed the pros and the cons of running and not running; the prospect of Joe Biden as a challenger got her to think twice, three times, several times before making her final decision. At some point, Mrs. Clinton must have decided to forego the idea of running for president of the United States altogether; she even flirted with the idea of adding her name as a prospect for the post of International Monetary Fund (IMF) president. Of course, Mrs. Clinton denied having ever been interested in that position. That’s another story.
The Republicans didn’t want to take any chances; so, they began an all-out assault against Hillary. For well over a year, Fox Opinion (referred to by most as Fox News) made the Benghazi tragedy a weekly series among its hosts, a strategy to keep hammering the assumption that Mrs. Clinton was responsible and thus not fit to become commander in chief.
When Hillary was Secretary of State during Obama’s first term presidency, a group of Islamic militants stormed the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, and killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher among others. Such tragedies do unfortunately happen around the world, especially in areas where there is a large concentration of Islamic militants, mainly in the Middle East and Africa. In fact, during the Bush administration, there were well over 30 such attacks and more than eighty fatalities. The public didn’t hear much about those tragedies; there is never a reason to drumroll the announcement of fatalities. Both Democrat and Republican Reps in Washington understand there are risks for those serving in US Embassies located in those “hot spots”; there was not a single investigation initiated by Democrats (much less so would Republicans on their own administration) for any of the more than 30 attacks on US personnel during the Bush administration.
The Benghazi was different; so said the Republicans in Washington; it was the first time since 1979 that an Ambassador was killed during such attack. Republicans didn’t waste any time; they formed a committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks. While it’s not uncommon for a committee to be created to investigate circumstances under which a tragedy – such as the Benghazi attacks – happens, such committee usually focuses on what could have been done to prevent the tragedy and to make recommendations to prevent future occurrences. The Benghazi committee, led by Republicans, on the other hand had a very different agenda and a very narrow focus, to go specifically after Mrs. Clinton, to find fault with her. Did she handle the crisis properly? Did she know about it beforehand? What did she do when she found out? How could she have not known about it beforehand? Did she react fast enough? Did she? Did she? Did she? Republican members of the committee regularly leaked information to the media regarding the investigation; Fox Opinion, without any verification (please forgive the redundancy here), blasted the leaked information as news to its viewers day and night, sometimes for weeks at a time.
The smearing campaign (leaked information) is usually passed as some form of revelation, a bombshell so to speak, which would paint Mrs. Clinton in very bad light. After Fox Opinion ran on primetime programs (Fox & Friends, Shawn Hannity, Bill O’reilly, The Five, etc.) the “It’s Hillary Clinton’s Fault Benghazi” series for over two years, the longest lasting series of sort and not being able to part with the series, they continue to air it in syndication.
In the meantime, the Republican Party continues to bring forth other topics which would give the opportunity to speak ill of the former Secretary of State. Even the Whitewater scandal re-emerged; in essence, the Whitewater scandal refers to a real estate controversy which involved former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, both of which were cleared of any wrongdoing by special prosecutor Robert B. Fiske who led the investigation. Republicans were breathless, looking for anything that could help stop “the Hillary for 2016 bus” from leaving the terminal. Desperate, some Republican candidates even brought back for discussion the Monica Lewinsky scandal in an attempt to link it somehow with Hillary Clinton. In essence, the Monica Lewinsky scandal refers to an affair Bill Clinton, then president, had with an intern (Monica Lewinsky) which ended in Bill Clinton’s impeachment. I must admit that I have a very difficult time grasping how the Republican Party would manage to make Bill Clinton’s affair a problem for Hillary’s candidacy. I am sure the Republican strategists are working on it.
As it is probably obvious by now, Republicans leaders, Republican candidates assisted by Fox Opinion had tried everything humanly possible to discourage Mrs. Clinton from jumping into the presidential race. After trying everything, they hit the pause button, closed their eyes very tight, crossed their fingers and prayed that Hillary decided not to jump in. But on April 12, 2015 when Hillary took to the internet and released a video of her bid for the presidency, all the prayers, all the wishes the Republican leaders had made vanished in an instant.
Reality set in. Hillary is in. But Republicans could not afford to just let it be. Although it was now impossible to stop the Hillary 2016 Bus, at the very least they were ready to slow it down, to bring it to a crawl if at all possible. As if the gods of presidential elections heard the cries of the Republicans, Hillary became embroiled in an email scandal, fondly dubbed emailgate. On October 27, FBI announced it opens an investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of private server to conduct government business; the investigation is to determine whether Mrs. Clinton violated Department of State rules. A couple of weeks later, on November 10, 2015 when FBI upgraded the investigation into a “full blown investigation” of Hillary’s private email server, Fox Opinion deployed trumpets, sax and trombone to dance to the “possible derailment” of Hillary’s campaign.
For a moment, Hillary’s campaign really looked bleak. Despite her best effort, Mrs. Clinton couldn’t move the rating to her favor; in fact, across the board, Bernie Sanders, her closest competitor was ahead of Mrs. Clinton in most early states’ polls. Any further bad news could have completely quelled Hillary’s aspirations. While Mrs. Clinton was down, the Republicans couldn’t help but to kick her some more; Republicans were coming out one by one propping Joe Biden to make a run for the presidency. Even Dick Cheney suggested that Joe Biden would make a great president. Go figure! It wasn’t because Republicans truly believe Joe Biden could be a great president; in fact, Republicans have always made fun of Biden’s gaffes. The strategy they pursued was to fracture the Democrat party; the ultimate goal was to weaken Hillary, thus giving the Republicans a fighting chance against a giant.
One should ask the question we’ve been trying to understand all along, why are Republicans so fearful of a Hillary nomination for the Democrat Party? Follow @mducheiney us here as we will unveil in part 2 not only how scared the Republicans really are but also whether their fear is justified.
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