Sorry, but I’m going to have to call BS on Politico‘s big story from Gabriel Debenedetti last night suggesting that Democrats are in a state of near-panic over the HRC “email crisis.” The piece is festooned with quote after quote–some attributed, some blind–from early-state Dems, mostly in Iowa, arguing that Hillary’s “problem” means that other candidates should get into the race–you know, just in case. Indeed, that’s the thrust of the quote that supplies the alarming “she could implode totally” headline:
[W]hile the overall message of trust in the presumptive frontrunner is clear, the saga is also exposing deep party-wide anxieties about having so much invested in a single candidate, more than 20 months before November 2016.
“It adds more reason to get other people involved in this process, to make sure we have other strong, good candidates running,” said Larry Hogden, chairman of Iowa’s Cedar County Democrats. “Because, who knows? She could implode totally.”
You’d think after maybe the third or fourth statement from an Iowan to that effect, it might occur to Debenedetti to wonder why they keep bringing this back to the need for a bigger Democratic presidential field. Could it be that Iowans (and for that matter, activists from New Hampshire and South Carolina) want a bigger field for reasons other than anxiety about HRC? Because maybe a competitive field gives them the attention, and yes, money, that they absolutely live for in the early states? Should it perhaps be noted that Iowa Democrats were talking exactly the same way long before anybody knew a thing about HRC’s email practices?
Look, there may be something of real importance–substantive or political–in the HRC email saga; I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s possible. But getting to that underlying reality is going to require tuning out much of the current noise from the many, many people who have ulterior motives for hyping or even lying about this “story.” That includes the professional Clinton-hating industry, Republican Party hacks, lazy journalists, and yes, Democrats who for one reason or another want a competitive 2016 presidential nominating contest.