Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party's nominee, and she will win the 2016 election.
When you analyze the objective conditions of the Republican Party today and most likely over the next two years and compare them to Clinton's strengths, it's hard not to make such a prediction with confidence.
The email flap will be gone soon enough. Short of the State Department finding some grenade of an email, the release of some 55,000 Clinton emails from the government archives is more likely to reinforce Clinton's formidable leadership and executive abilities than subtract from her decades-old image of an American Iron Lady.
Republicans will wail at her desire for privacy in not turning over her personal emails, but look at America's angst on this very topic. Many citizens feel that our privacy has been compromised, by everyone from the government to Russian hackers; that our private stuff is under threat. Hard to imagine that the citizenry will begrudge Clinton's desire for some modicum of privacy even as her official emails are published on a State Department website.
The Washington press corps has been foaming at the mouth, an expected reaction. At a recent networking event of political reporters, one 2016 campaign beat journalist, writing for a major national paper, was almost salivating. "It's just like the Clintons!" he cried. "So typical! This is huge!"
This would be his meal ticket for the next few weeks, and I could not help but feel happy for him. Washington journalists need scandal to thrive. The routine reporting of the minor personalities who haunt the halls of Congress or of obscure second-rank Cabinet secretaries makes for poor copy.
And while the Benghazi Brigade in the GOP is still marching along in the desert, hoping to stumble on to a smoking gun, their political shenanigans in not releasing the voluminous collection of Clinton's email that they possess will only further tarnish their credibility. And there is no polling that I've seen that shows that Benghazi is even a remotely relevant issue for the non-Tea Party majority of the electorate.
It's no wonder, then, that the 2016 GOP pre-candidates have stayed largely silent on the Clinton email brouhaha. First, you can bet that more than one of those candidates has used multiple email accounts themselves while in office. The widespread ownership of email glass houses makes it awkward, if not outright dangerous, for these candidates to throw rocks at Clinton. In fact, former Governor Jeb Bush was quite loquacious with his private email account -- even using it to discuss security issues and troop deployments.
Second, if any of these candidates think that Clinton's email flap will both endure and be a factor in 2016, they are getting bad advice. As nonpartisan Charlie Cook in National Journal pointed out, there are much more real, politically relevant and resonant issues that will either result in Clinton presidency or an upset.
Clinton has a built-in advantage -- her gender. It now looks that she will use the glass-ceiling theme to connect with millions of people who think that the disparities in opportunity, income and talent-based achievement between men and women is not only unfair, but damaging to all women, two-income families and the economy in general.
Some percentage of Americans, likely a large one, would like to cast a historic vote. When polling points to Americans wanting "change," what bigger change than a woman as president?
Clinton is white. Yes, President Obama was elected twice, with millions of votes over the 50 percent victory threshold. But looking at the election data that show a precipitous drop in his support among white voters, relative to past Democratic candidates, one can infer some racial bias in a sliver of the electorate. Clinton might be able to attract those voters simply because she is not an African-American man.
In terms of the Latino vote, even though many Republicans are counting on him, Sen. Marco Rubio's (Fla.) craven flip-flopping is not likely to endear him to many Hispanics outside of Miami. Conversely, Clinton is hugely popular among Hispanics, as is her husband. She's been a steadfast supporter of immigrant rights and was Latino voters' favorite during the 2008 primaries. She will sweep the Hispanic vote.
Lastly, the first couple of months of Republican congressional hegemony has been an exercise in immigrant-baiting. Republicans seem to have a visceral need to attack undocumented immigrants. It's an article of faith among the majority of Republicans who voted in both chambers of Congress several times that Obama's immigration actions must be destroyed -- even if young people like the Dreamers are deported. In a recent Latino Decisions poll, 89 percent of American Latinos favored Obama's executive actions.
I learned my lesson about predictions when I projected former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) as the 2012 GOP nominee. But in this case, short of a deus ex machina event, it's a good bet that Hillary Clinton will next occupy the White House.
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