We’ve done the research: Hillary’s emails have been covered by major media outlets every single day for the past year. The polls show that email fatigue has set in: 63% in a recent poll said they were tired of hearing about the issue. But her detractors keep beating a dead horse. The reason: They’ve got nothing else.
Having worked on two presidential campaigns, I’ve learned not to take anything from the outside at face value. Head fakes are standard operating procedure. Reporters who claim inside information are typically being fed trial balloons. Pundits who sit on the sidelines and pontificate about campaign tactics rarely have access to the sophisticated data available to senior strategists. Armchair campaign managers on cable news get things wrong more often than they get them right.
Conventional political wisdom is rarely actual wisdom but merely repetition and habit.
Which brings me to the matter of Hillary’s emails, the most over-hyped political story of the decade. The issue is not necessarily what it appears to be.
There was always going to be something Hillary’s opponents tried to derail her with, something the national media would latch onto and refuse to let go.
It could have been a dozen other trumped-up issues. It ended up being the emails. So be it.
As we head into the fall, there’s little doubt that the emails will be flogged by Hillary’s detractors every day for the remainder of the election. But does that actually hurt her? Or does it help?
Consider that the comprehensive FBI investigation led to no evidence or accusation of intentional wrongdoing on her part, nor any charges of misconduct. And consider that despite month after month of emails, emails, emails, Hillary is in a strong position to win in November.
Now why should we assume that hammering the email story for the remaining days of the campaign will somehow magically accomplish what an entire year of obsessive coverage hasn’t been able to do?
This may sound counter-intuitive but it’s a logical conclusion from the facts: Every day Hillary’s opponents flog her emails is a day she’s winning.
Simply because it’s a day they’re not landing any serious blows on anything else.
So keep at the emails, Hillary critics. And we’ll see how far the issue gets you on Election Day.