The Corner

Politics & Policy

Obama Was Always Going to Choose Hillary

Over at Hot Air, Jazz Shaw writes that President Obama’s behind-the-scenes effort urging Democratic donors to help Hillary Clinton indicates that there’s no indictment coming from the Department of Justice:

With the President being so clearly invested in electing a Democrat in general and Hillary Clinton in particular to continue his legacy, there’s simply no way he would risk putting his thumb on the scale for a candidate who might be essentially disqualified if she had to run the last stage of her campaign from a jail cell. With all that in mind, it’s difficult to conclude anything other than a presumption that Obama knows that Clinton will face no such peril. But how could he know that if the investigation isn’t even finished yet?

Let’s note that if Obama showed any sign of not backing Clinton 100 percent, that would be interpreted as a sign he knew an indictment was imminent. And no matter what he said publicly, Obama was always going to strongly prefer Clinton to Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator is the guy who keeps running around the country emphasizing that the game of American life has never been more rigged in favor of the super-wealthy, the Middle Class is dying off,  the real unemployment level is 10.3 percent, and that youth unemployment, including African-American youth unemployment, is hovering around 50 percent. A Sanders nomination would be an implicit rebuke to Obama’s presidency; Hillary’s is a de facto affirmation of the status quo.

Secondly, a big part of Obama’s presidency is about acting like there’s no potential problem even when it’s obvious there is: ISIS was the “jayvee team,” Russia’s moves into Crimea and Syria (and then out of Syria!) took Obama by surprise, the rally on September 12, 2012, went on as planned after the preceding night’s Benghazi attacks, Healthcare.gov just has a few “glitches,” we’ll reduce the Veterans Affairs backlog, and so on. In light of this mental habit, did anyone really think Obama would ever give any indication that his own Secretary of State could end up indicted for decisions made in his administration? 

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