Monica Won't Affect Hillary in 2016
The Hillary-Clinton-for-President crowd has several causes for concern; none of them involve Monica Lewinsky.
The former Secretary of State, first lady and senator is a formidable front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Yet worries persist about an overly protective inner circle as well as her myriad of free-lancing supporters. Questions about her health and whether someone who has been front-and-center on the public stage for almost a quarter-century can be a candidate for change also have merit.
Recently, however, Republicans have floated a new issue: her husbands' dalliance with an intern while he was president. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and his wife, contended this should hurt Clinton's credibility with female voters.
• When Bill Clinton left office on Inauguration Day in 2001 -- three years after the Lewinsky scandal broke -- he was a very popular president; and he is even more popular today.
• Hillary Clinton won two U.S. Senate campaigns in New York and ran for the president in 2008. During those races her husband's White House affair was a non-issue.
• Over the course of her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton's effectiveness or standing as a diplomat certainly wasn't affected by her husband's previous indiscretions.
For Hillary-haters: sorry, she'll be judged on her own. A two-decade-old scandal involving her husband, ventilated more thoroughly than ever imaginable, won't impact Clinton's probable candidacy.
(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter @AlHuntDC.)
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