Six Ways the Comey Letter May HELP Hillary
Of course, given her choice, it’s pretty likely that Hillary Clinton would have preferred that the new James Comey letter never happened. Dealing with sideways slander from the director of the FBI 11 days before an election is never fun. But there are six ways the Comey letter may actually end up helping the Democrats next week:
1) It changed the narrative off the Obamacare price increases. That sticker shock was the more damaging revelation of last week, especially down ballot. Voters are more likely to dismiss the email thing as nothing new – especially as more info comes out this week showing the initial media hysteria was vastly overblown. So this may actually be a better issue for Clinton to close on. There was no good way to rebut the ACA price increases. It’s much easier to play the victim of a runaway media. Just ask Donald Trump.
2) Wavering Republican voters who simply can’t vote for Trump but were considering voting for Clinton may just stay home. Not good for Clinton, but even worse for down-ballot GOP candidates who will now not get those ticket-splitting votes from their base. If that costs the GOP a senate seat or a few House seats, that’s a net plus for Democrats.
3) Trump’s reflexive instinct is always to play to his crazed “lock her up” rally crowds. That might lead him to over-play his hand, claiming this is “bigger than Watergate,” describing the letter as “proof” of Hillary’s “criminal scheme,” and calling for her to be immediately cuffed and jailed. That will just make him sound more unhinged to people who are already turned off by his antics. That could actually bring out more millennials and progressive base voters out to the polls and back to the Democratic fold.
4) If the polls seem to tighten this week because of all this, disaffected liberals who were considering a protest vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson may just decide that the election is now too close for them to risk a Trump presidency. Nothing will sober up a dreamy-eyed protest voter than being faced with four years of abject political horror.
5) Women may rally to Hillary’s side. Look at the optics. Here is a woman being once again kneecapped by a degenerate man with whom she only shared the flimsiest of associations (the estranged husband of her aide). It was bad enough that Hillary has been slut-shamed for her husband’s deplorable sexual conduct. But seeing Hillary being publicly crucified for Anthony Weiner’s sins may be the last straw for married women and young millennials.
6) Finally, don’t discount the judgment and sense of fairness of American voters. The universal first reaction to the Comey letter was how wildly inappropriate the timing was (even from many in the GOP). Over the next few days voters will also be hearing more about the FBI’s 60 day policy against releasing last-minute information that might unduly influence an election – especially considering new revelations that he was urged not to send the letter by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates – and voters may be rightly angry that Comey did not follow his own department’s ethical standards and may even suspect he had partisan motives. That could lead to a backlash at the polls that actually helps Clinton. Remember: regardless of what you may think of her server or her past email practices, nothing that was revealed yesterday implicates her in any new wrong doing of any kind. Voters will get that and may even begin to feel a twinge of sympathy for her. Especially compared to the unmoored guy on the other side screaming to throw her in jail.
Did Hillary think of any of that when she first learned of the Comey letter? Probably not. Just as I’m sure Bill Clinton never thought getting impeached would send his poll numbers skyrocketing. But politics sometimes has a funny way of turning good news bad, and bad news good.
And if anyone can turn political lemons into election day lemonade, it’s Mr. and Mrs. Clinton.