North Carolina had a big day with the President, the Democratic presidential nominee and the Republican presidential nominee all in the state. It was Barack Obama’s first joint appearance with Hillary Clinton since the primaries ended. It was Donald Trump’s opportunity to praise Saddam Hussein.
Clinton’s big day was overshadowed by the FBI announcing that it wouldn’t indict her in the email debacle that’s hounded her throughout the race. That was the good news. The bad news was that FBI Director James Comey blasted her for being “extremely careless.” So Republicans will continue to bash her for it.
The charges will likely just get jumbled up with all of the other accusations that Republicans have hurled at Clinton over the past 25 years. After Watergate ended Richard Nixon’s presidency, the GOP has been trying to use scandal as a means of defeating Democrats ever since. Somebody should really read them the story of the boy who cried wolf. Nothing exemplifies the moral of the story more than the Clinton witch hunt.
Polls may show that much of the American public has problems with Clinton’s honesty, but that same public now gives little credence to the accusations thrown about by Republican politicians and the right-wing echo chamber on Fox News, Breitbart News, and other outlets. So calling another Congressional Committee to investigate the FBI’s decision not to press charges is almost certainly going to hurt them more than help them. The American people really want a government focused on solving problems, not scoring political points.
The other problem Republicans have is Donald Trump. Every time they think they’ve got something on Clinton, Trump makes sure that he upstages her. Yesterday in Raleigh, he hailed Saddam Hussein for killing terrorists, lauding the fact that he wasn’t constrained by due process. So, yeah, Clinton may have exhibited bad judgement but Trump wants to kill people unencumbered by the rule of law.
Clinton may limp into the White House dogged by accusations of dishonesty, but she’ll still be in the White House. If polls are to be believed at this point in the cycle, she’s expanding her lead nationally over Trump. Trump, for his part, is still running a reality show instead of a political campaign. Yesterday is probably a sign of what we’ll see moving forward. Republicans will stop trying to promote Trump and just keep bashing Clinton. Trump, for his part, will continue to say whatever gets him the most coverage. In the end, we’ll find out if the GOP can make enough people stay home on election day that Trump is elected by a populist minority.
Thomas Mills is the Founder and Publisher of Politics N.C., a website of commentary and analysis.