by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Some of Hillary Clinton’s defenders have taken to saying that voters shouldn’t pay attention to the latest Clinton scandals — the gushing of often undisclosed millions to the Clintons and their organizations by characters seeking official favors — because the charges are just one more in a long series: Whitewater, the Rose law firm billing records, the Buddhist temple fundraising, the Lippo Group.
So, the theory goes, because the Clintons have been accused of so many scandalous doings before, people shouldn’t be concerned now about Secretary Clinton’s actions that helped certain donors turn over 20 percent of U.S. uranium reserves to a state-run Russian company.
Common sense might tend to make you more suspicious of those who attract many accusations. But the Clintons’ defenders expect and hope in their case that you will instead be suspicious of those who make so many accusations. After all, they’re always saying nasty things! In this view, even charges advanced and amplified by the New York Times may be summarily dismissed as the products of a vast right-wing conspiracy.
Of course, for some voters, the just-one-more-scandal argument may cut the other way. They may decide that they’ve endured enough Clinton scandals.
Still, Clinton defenders have some basis for thinking that the just-one-more-scandal argument has worked for the Clintons before. Bill Clinton may have been interrogated and impeached, but he wasn’t removed from office. Instead, Newt Gingrich was knocked off the speaker’s chair days after Republicans lost seats in the midterm election.
But there’s a big difference between then and now. Bill Clinton was the incumbent president when he was impeached. Hillary Clinton is a private citizen who is running for president.