As Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton continues to spin in the winds of scandal, President Barack Obama persists in his assiduous efforts to keep Clinton and her sorry campaign on life support. He’s even exhorting the Democratic faithful to not be distracted by all this nasty FBI activity and not to focus on those e-mails.
Every day that Obama consumes stumping for Clinton, every hour that he expends on Air Force One flying to Hillary’s rescue, every week that he wastes on partisan political activity that is both unbecoming and disgraceful for a sitting president should be docked from his pay because he’s not doing the nation’s business he’s giving the nation the business.
Obama’s obsession with Clinton’s fate appears both increasingly bizarre and self-destructive given the growing charges of criminality surrounding her legacy in his administration. Even if Clinton offered a clean slate for voters to endorse, Obama’s over the top endorsement is grossly inappropriate for a sitting president and a clear repudiation of precedent. When then-Vice President Richard Nixon was running against Sen. John Kennedy in the 1960 race, Eisenhower didn’t lift a finger to bolster his former running mate’s reputation. When asked by Charles Mohr of Time magazine if he could think of “a major idea of his that you have adopted…” Ike responded, “If you give me a week, I might think of one. I don’t remember.”
Though historians have long chortled over Eisenhower’s less than enthusiastic support for Nixon, that is probably exactly what Obama would say – if he was behind closed doors and entirely ensure that no recording devices were within a mile’s radius – about his secretary of state’s desultory record. Of course he has a pathetically dismal legacy to match, so he must have a deep empathy for failure.
Perhaps that’s why his public appraisal of justice-fleeing Clinton is that she is “the most qualified” presidential candidate in history. To even entertain this preposterous storyline as anything other than an outrageous political fabrication, you must consider that Hillary has been clandestine about her accomplishments or is keeping a large part of her resume hidden from public view.
But we know what Clinton has been secretive about and what she has hidden from view; her mendacity, evasiveness and destruction of public records are hardly a matter of celebration.
So why is Obama tethering his own reputation to Clinton’s accelerating implosion? We know that the Clintons and Obamas have never harbored any affection for each other. When Hillary threatened Obama’s presidential hopes in 2008, there was something akin to a blood feud between the two political families. We acknowledge that Obama – though not even approaching the status of leader – is a cunning political operator who is adept at reading public opinion and running in that direction.
Obama clearly believes that his appeal, popularity, wit and wisdom is so overwhelming that he can even resurrect Hillary Clinton from political death. Certainly this would reflect Obama’s utterly narcissistic and egotistical approach to public life: it is never about making history for this president; it always about Obama’s overweening personality transcending history. It is always all about Obama and nothing else: even his campaigning for Clinton.
It is unlikely that even Obama’s overrated eloquence, oleaginous charm and withering appeal can save the day for Hillary. As the legal and political walls close-in on Clinton, Obama appears to be waging a lost war. As low-brows used to say about the opera – and if it were not for the tragic consequences of so many of Clinton’s actions, her campaign would resemble a comic opera – “it ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings.”