Last week, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hoped the email mess would die quietly, a one-day story. Bad calculation. The story has staying power, is metastasizing, and is engaging the legacy media. Worst of all for the denizens of Hillaryland, all its responses have failed to quash it.
Let’s look at the losing strategies so far.
Strategy #1: Stay quiet and hope it blows over. Result: Fail. We are nearing the two-week mark and counting. Each day, new troubles dribble out, and the media is actually reporting them. Clinton and her team are losing the war of attrition.
Strategy #2: See the shiny object. Send out the usual attack dogs, keep Hillary and her key aides hidden, and say it is a tempest in a teapot. Insist that everything was legal, it is all a right-wing plot, and that Jeb Bush, Colin Powell and others did the same thing. Result: Fail. James Carville and Lanny Davis are simply not in a position to answer the hard questions. Worse, they remind people of the sleaziest problem of Bill Clinton’s presidency, not its triumphs. People get tired just looking at them.
Strategy #3: Send out the Boss herself in carefully controlled settings and give circumscribed, legalistic answers. That’s what they did on Tuesday. Say this is only about “convenience,” not about secrecy, control, and deception. Meanwhile, say you have turned over the relevant materials but make that determination yourself and keep everything on your server secret. Hope the media and the public will accept that. They won’t. Result: Failure very likely.