WASHINGTON — In the many decades I have had the pleasure of covering the Clintons, I have developed several themes about them that have, over the years, been validated by fact. One theme is that there is a Clinton curse. It afflicts many who come into contact with the fabulous couple. In the early days, the curse brought down the McDougals, Webb Hubbell, Vince Foster and former Governor Jim Guy Tucker, all of whom by now are figures known only to history.
More recently it was Jeffrey Epstein, sex offender and Bill Clinton's pal and fellow epicure. Now, quite possibly, Josh Earnest, press secretary to President Barack Obama, will be added to the list along with Hillary Clinton's aides: Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Bryan Pagliano and Jake Sullivan. Perhaps even David Brock will suffer the Clinton curse. The Clintons are a couple to be avoided. Even the Democratic Party might not be spared come Election Day 2016.
Of course, the Clintons often turn to their favor circumstances that might spell doom to others. Consider the present imbroglio involving Hillary Clinton, her mysterious personal server, the FBI and the aforementioned Clintonistas: Abedin, Mills, Pagliano and Sullivan. Many people who I talk to tell me that the FBI's interest in that personal server is ominous for Clinton — a matter I wrote about in this column three weeks ago. Yet this imbroglio, when viewed from the Clintons' perspective, might actually be helping them in their quest for the presidency.
The FBI is finding so much additional evidence of wrongdoing by the Clintons and their Clintonistas that it is possible this copious evidence is actually impeding the Bureau from recommending indictments. No sooner does the Bureau think it has wrapped up one set of indictments than it trips across another category of malfeasance. For instance, it seems that the FBI has now found the Clintons to have commingled their foundation's interests with Hillary Clinton's State Department work. And then there is her campaign fundraising, Bill's exorbitant lecture fees, and — who knows — the needs of the Clinton Library. If the Clintons are lucky, the FBI investigations will be mired in new evidence for months to come.
She will plod along, fighting off the sallies of a 74-year-old 1960s retread spewing Marxist hooey. And, as of Monday, she'll be without the comic benefits of Martin O'Malley, whom radio host Chris Plante calls the "Naked Cowboy." If she eventually gets the Democratic nomination, the FBI will be faced with the dilemma of recommending the indictment of the Democratic Party's convention-certified presidential nominee. Has America ever sat through a presidential nomination in which one of the candidates was under indictment?
For the low-information voters, I shall answer the question: The answer is that every major party nominee has been as clean as a hound's tooth, at least until elected. Even the late and lamented Richard M. Nixon had yet to be indicted when elected president. Actually, he never was indicted, as strange as that may seem.
So my guess is that Clinton is hoping to brazen it out and keep the FBI busy with the droppings from her server: the shocking intelligence breeches, the incriminating Foundation solicitations, and — forget not — her tantalizing hints about yoga — her yoga! She will hope to cop the nomination at the Democratic National Convention and try for victory in November, though that now appears unlikely. She had a chance against former Republican Governor George Pataki, but when he bowed out of the race I think her chances for the presidency went away.
Meanwhile, I see the Clinton curse still preparing to take down others around the Clintons, such as Abedin, Mills, Pagliano and Sullivan. One really does not have to venture too close to the Clintons for the curse to strike. One can merely be trying to sidestep, say, Hillary Clinton's emails, and whammo .
Think of poor Josh Earnest at his press briefing Friday. An inquisitive journalist asked him if he could say "with certainty and confidence that Secretary Clinton will not be indicted because of this email scandal?" Instead of saying that he could not comment on an ongoing investigation, Earnest implied that he had been in communication with the Justice Department and prosecutors. He spoke of "what we know from the Department of Justice," and authoritatively added that "it does not seem to be headed in that direction." Whom did he speak with? What did they tell him? Who authorized the president's press secretary to call the Department of Justice? Was Earnest's comment a direction to the FBI to subside?
It is all very irregular. When will Earnest get his day before a Congressional hearing?
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and, most recently, the author of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.