An Ivy League government teacher who specializes in political scandals predicts that the Hillary Clinton email controversy will have no affect on the next presidential election if she is the Democrat candidate.
"If there's one thing we've learned from past presidential campaigns, it's that most supposed game-changers like this quickly fade from the memory of the political class, having never been noticed by most Americans in the first place," Brendan Nyhan wrote in The New York Times
Nyhan, an assistant professor at Dartmouth College, predicted that the scandal is unlikely to expose any illegal action on the part of Clinton, who used a private email service during her term as secretary of state. Critics accuse her of violating federal law and administration policy and possibly exposing sensitive diplomatic communication to hackers because her personal email server could have lacked the level of security provided by the State Department's email service.
Nyhan echoed Clinton's famous outburst at a congressional hearing when she declared, "what difference, at this point, does it make."
"Few Americans are paying attention to any aspect of the campaign at this point. Those who do notice will most likely divide largely along partisan lines, with Democrats interpreting her actions more charitably, especially once they see Republicans attacking Mrs. Clinton on the issue," Nyhan wrote.
Nyhan's reaction to the email story first reported in the New York Times on Monday contrasted with alarm from some in liberal circles.
The New Republic
, an important voice on the left for more than 100 years, concluded in an article this week that "Hillary Clinton is not ready for prime time."
The magazine added that "it's starting to appear that Clinton is far less prepared for a presidential run than anyone expected."
The National Journal
, an insider's guide to U.S. politics, noted that few Democrats are rushing to defend her.
"The Clinton controversy highlights a major vulnerability that has plagued the Clinton family before. As Hillary Clinton attempts to rebrand herself and gear up for a retooled 2016 campaign, Republicans will continue to paint her as a political machine, a politician so overtly concerned about her rise to the Oval Office that she was willing to safeguard every correspondence to protect her public persona," the magazine wrote.
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