|Secretary of State Clinton / Photo: U.S. Embassy in London, CC BY-ND 2.0|
I still have angst about the State Department email situation that is holding me back from enthusiastically supporting Hillary Clinton. The arguments for the defense coming from Dems sound more like typical spin than thoroughly researched, credible arguments. But so do the arguments being made by the GOP folks. I'm feeling like I need to dig in, sort through the best info available, and sort out my feelings on this one right away.
UPDATE: Turns out I'm not the only Dem with such angst. From today's New York Times: Hillary Clinton's Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders
Donald Trump seems to be gaining on Hillary in head-to-head match-up polls. She's still ahead, but he's moved a LOT in the last month or so. All of the polls in June and July had her ahead by 12 to 24 points. The results gauged in August have her ahead of Trump by just 4 to 6 points.
With Trump's support seeming to continually grow beyond what everyone assumes are his natural limits, NOW is the time to help generate excitement about a Democratic candidate. We can't afford a President Trump - putting someone with that level of narcissism, vindictiveness, and lack of self-control in control of our military, our weaponry, and international diplomacy is a recipe for disaster.
So we can't allow any common misgivings about our front-runner to just linger out there among some Democrats and Dem-leaning voters. Doing nothing to change the game will just keep giving us poll numbers that show Trump within striking distance of our front-runner. These results are only emboldening him and may be coalescing GOP support around him.
If excitement can't be coalesced around our front-runner, we need to find someone else, stat. (Not Biden. Biden has his good qualities. But I don't think he can win, nor do I think he's the right person for the job right now.)
Yes, Bernie Sanders has excitement. But I'm 99.99% certain that Bernie Sanders can't win nationwide. It's doubtful whether Bernie can even win the nomination. His excitement is mostly among a contingent of very liberal, college-educated, (mostly) white folks who always vote Democrat, the same folks who flocked to Howard Dean when he remade himself in the image of an anti-war populist - and we remember how that turned out.
Sure, I like a lot of what Sanders says about domestic issues. But he needs to address fiscal responsibility, because around 60% of voters are very concerned about the deficit/debt. And he has little to no background in international affairs and national security, which just won't fly with American voters (including this one), especially not right now. Sanders doesn't seem like the right person for the job right now, either.
A lot of Democrats won't publicly cop to misgivings about Hillary. Many folks who are actively involved in party politics avoid saying anything that might anger important people or count against them the next time they're up for a job. Those of us with a more pragmatic nature also tend to fret about publicly saying anything that the GOP might be able to use against someone who might end up our nominee.
But I'm in a place where I'm not actively seeking any political jobs and I'm not in any sort of party leadership position. And I fervently believe that we need a strong, intelligent, seasoned, and disciplined leader to emerge victorious from the 2016 contest. In 2007-08, I believed that person was Hillary Clinton. When I listen to her speak about issues I care about, I still feel in my gut, even more than before, that that person is Hillary Clinton.
But the email thing still bugs me. So I'd better figure it out.