In any normal election year, the steady drip-drip of hacked emails would probably prove fatal to a presidential candidate.
In private emails made public, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign staffers mock Catholics, bicker, discuss strategies to court the black vote and, from emails released today by Wikileaks, collude with White House officials to explain or cover up Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
These revelations should be damning. They should send the campaign spiraling toward the ground like a malfunctioning helicopter.
But instead, Clinton’s lead in the polls continues to steadily grow. Because this isn’t a normal election year, and this is by no means a normal campaign.
Clinton envisioned herself as the woman who would crack the world’s greatest glass ceiling, assuming the office of the nation’s highest executive and serving as an inspiration to girls everywhere. Instead, she’s become a bulwark against the perceived catastrophe of a Donald Trump administration.
So what should’ve been easy hay to make for Trump has instead been forgotten amid the Republican nominee’s own erratic behavior. At a speech this week at Gettysburg, in which Trump was expected to invoke the fond admiration of the nation’s 16th president and spell out a course for his first 100 days in office, he instead mocked the polls and threatened to sue a number of women who have come forward in recent days to accuse Trump of sexually assaulting and manhandling them — a far, far cry from “four score and seven years ago…”
The Republican nominee’s behavior has been enough to make one wonder if he actually wants to be president at all — if he ran on a lark and never expected to get this far, and now he’s just having fun with it.
Instead, the Wikileaks emails are only becoming fodder for Trump’s most ardent supporters, who already suspect the former secretary of state of all kinds of crimes and transgressions. While the emails don’t validate the most egregious crimes against the candidate, they do cause a withering of her esteem and sense of trustworthiness — an area she’s long suffered anyway.
In the days to come, Wikileaks promises to continue to drip the emails that should’ve ended a candidacy, but have instead only made it awkward for certain Washington insiders to be in the same rooms with one another.