Nobody Marching in the Streets About HRC Emails

Nestled in a piece by Jonathan Topaz at Politico about Bernie Sanders’ ambivalence about (and very limited preparations for) a presidential run is this comment from the proto-candidate about the Issue of the Week:

“Why am I asked about Hillary Clinton every other day, about her emails?” he asks. “Do you know what — I can’t swear to you on this — last I checked, here in Washington, do you know how many calls I got from Vermont on Hillary Clinton’s emails? Zero. Yet I can’t walk down the hallways here without hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails.”

A similar sentiment is being expressed by someone who actually has spent a lot of time getting ready to run for president, Martin O’Malley (per a report from the New York Times‘ Nick Corasaniti):

Mr. O’Malley, a former governor of Maryland, who is considering challenging Mrs. Clinton for the nomination, waded tepidly into the email controversy during an appearance on “Morning Joe,” calling it a nonissue.

He at first sought to avoid questions on the controversy, saying Mrs. Clinton “is perfectly capable of defending her own service in office,” but after being pressed, Mr. O’Malley finally relented, asserting that voters would not care about “email policy.”

“If we had a uniform email policy across all 50 states, and every county and every city and every department of the federal government, if we had that uniform email policy today, none of that would make a hill of difference to people that are trying to send their kids to college, or they’re working harder, not making overtime and slipping bigger behind,” Mr. O’Malley said.

Yes, I know these people are Democrats, but still, if there was any public opinion traction in giving the email brouhaha some oxygen, they’d give it some. That it isn’t happening is as significant as the “narrative” HRC is supposedly feeding. And if you put Sanders or O’Malley under sodium pentothol and made them confess their innermost thoughts, I betcha they’d say the blood lust the MSM has for the Clintons is a bigger problem for an HRC candidacy as anything she’s done or left undone. Perhaps somewhere in those emails or in the underlying “narrative” there is something that connects with substantive concerns about Clinton’s relationships with Wall Street or propensity to rely on bad advice. But the story remains a long way from relevance at prescence.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.