The Impact of Biden’s Presidential Candidacy

There’s been a lot of rumors lately about the possibility of Vice President Joe Biden running for President in the upcoming election. First of all it is worth noting the political atmosphere right now. A recent study came out that now shows that Bernie Sanders is leading by +7 points in New Hampshire (Page 2). In the same state it was reported that favorability for Sanders was 78% with Clinton’s at 63% and rapidly dropping due to the whole email scandal surrounding her.

With this happening the rumors about Biden begin circulating again, and this time with more coverage. There is still some time before the first Democratic debate in October, but if this is going to happen Biden needs to get moving. Of course he may not have time to, depending if Hillary bounces back or not.

Once we get further into the campaign the stories and ads against Clinton will start to multiply and attack her already tarnished name. Biden could be the Democrat’s answer to this. If favorability continues to drop for Clinton, Biden could run as essentially her replacement to challenge Sanders for the nomination. There could be many reasons why the party would not want to run Sanders for president, but my theory is that he is too unorthodox for the party and would not stand well with most moderate voters. Biden on the other hand would have the advantage of taking the moderate stance between Sanders and Clinton to scoop up all the voters in-between to run an effective campaign.

Let’s say by next week Clinton’s ratings continue to drop and it looks like she’s dead in the water, I would be willing to bet if they dropped enough Biden would run. Whether that would be a smart move or not is still debatable. One advantage of Sanders’ grassroots movement is that his supporters are with him to the end, or else the movement wouldn’t be as large as it already is. If Biden were to run he would cause a rift between the voters already supporting him and the voters supporting Clinton. A few would stay with Clinton but a good amount of them would switch over to Biden. A poll in Iowa done on August twenty fifth showed Biden at 11% of the vote, and he isn’t even running. I could be underestimating how much support he’d get but I doubt it would be enough to get a significant lead that quick.

Everyone already knows Clinton’s name, people are quickly learning Sanders’ name, and even while many people know Biden’s name they don’t know much about him. I’ll be honest he hasn’t been the most up front politician we’ve ever had, and many don’t know where he stands. This is why now more than ever the election will really come down to the debates and how many people are attracted to the grassroots movement of Sanders or the upfront conventional style of Biden. Although he has been a respected long time member of congress he might not connect with voters in the same way.

If Biden chooses to run or not, it was only one Poll that showed Sanders to start taking the lead. The most recent national poll done shows Clinton with +26, still losing much of the footing she once had. Sanders is still gaining but we may have to wait until the debates to see the spike he needs.

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36 thoughts on “The Impact of Biden’s Presidential Candidacy

  1. Surely you jest. Joe Biden is a nothing candidate and always has been. His past two runs for the presidential nomination have shown that the man is a political nothing. As Vice President his only value was in casting any deciding vote in the Senate where a tie needed his attention. Other than that, Biden has done nothing worthy of consideration. Al Gore had a far better record as Vice President. Even Richard Nixon had a better record as Vice President. If Biden runs it will be because Obama will sanction an indictment against Hilary. She has broken the law numerous times and as long as Obama gives her a pass nothing legal will come to pass unless the Republicans take the White House. then Hilary will be brought up on charges, count on it.

    The kicker is Donald Trump. Does he become the Republican nominee or does he run as the third party spoiler? Frankly, there are no Republican candidates that really have much chance of winning the national election. If Hilary is forced out, then one could reasonably expect the choice to be between Sanders and Trump. Neither of which will do much once in office. But Biden? Surely you jest. The presidential election will become the Theater of the Absurd.

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    • A lot more people look up to Biden than I expected. Biden’s main importance was negotiating with congress since he was much more respected than Obama was. He wasn’t the most prolific person but he is well liked. And I have a feeling if he does run Obama might give his full support to Biden since he hasn’t openly supported a candidate yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Biden really lacks a public image, though. Obama had the full spotlight for the last eight years. If I had to estimate the country’s opinion on Biden it would be neutral. He’d have to do a lot to impress the public at large and, as you said, he might not have the time.

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  2. I agree with all you have written. Even though I still feel Bernie Sanders is the most sincere of the three, Biden is an “establishment” Democrat and that goes a long way in an election. He is well liked and knows how to “compromise”. However, I do believe there is no “compromising” as far as the Republicans are concerned.

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  3. I have been pondering how Biden would affect Bernie Sanders campaign if he decides to run. I agree with all you have said. Biden is well liked and respected because he knows how to “compromise”. He has many years of experience and “knows the ropes”. However, I’m not sure the Republicans will compromise with anyone, even Biden. I don’t think anyone knows Biden’s political stands on all issues. If he runs, maybe it will become apparent as to how he would lead. I still feel Bernie is the sincerest of them all and would do as he promises. However, he would need the Democrats to win enough seats in congress, as would any Democrat, if he is to accomplish anything. If the Republicans are still in charge, there isn’t much hope for any improvement in the way our country is being run now.

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  4. As I agree with much of what you are saying, I do not think that granted Biden runs, he will be elected. Why, just days ago he stated that if elected, he would only serve one term. I think that what that says to the public, is he doesn’t want to become disliked by many people, like many Presidents of the past. So depending on how people feel and vote, I do not think that he would have a real chance.

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  5. I have never thought of Joe Biden as anything but a guy that hangs out at a bar and bores others with his drunken stories. It is inconceivable to me that Biden would run, again, for President. The people have spoken to his chances more than once.

    What is more revealing is that the Democrat Party has allowed themselves to be cornered without a good candidate, and that includes Hillary Clinton. Everybody knows her baggage and penchant to dodge the truth.

    Good article.

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  6. Jordan, you said:

    “There could be many reasons why the party would not want to run Sanders for president….”

    In the U.S., a political party doesn’t “run” somebody. The primary system must follow FEC laws. All the DNC could do if it doesn’t “like” Sanders is withhold its financial support from his campaign. But it can’t actually stop him from running, any more than the RNC can stop Trump from running.

    – Jeff

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    • What I mean by this is they could not want to endorse Sanders if it came down to him in the Primary election. There could be many reasons the party does not want Sanders to win the primary. Yes they can’t stop him from running but they can do things to prevent his success in the election. In which case he could run as an independent but that would give him virtually no chance.

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  7. Listen. I really like Joe Biden. I think he’s a good man, a tough fighter, a skilled politician with decades of foreign policy experience. But I don’t think he’s going to jump in for 2016. I think he’s done when President Obama leaves office. And there’s nothing wrong with that! He’s spent a lifetime serving the public, and I think he deserves a good retirement (though honestly I could see Hillary picking him for Secretary of State, Ambassador to the UN, or even putting him in as Chair of the DNC).

    All the talk about Hillary slipping in the polls is natural. In the year before she jumped in, people idolized her: not because they were JUST finding out about her, but because she WASN’T a politician at the time. She was just a public official just out of the limelight. But now that she’s back in the thick of it (I support her wholeheartedly, in full disclosure), folks are going to go from adoration to… whatever this is now. At the end of the day, the more candidates that are running, the more the votes will get split. If Sanders wasn’t running, O’Malley would be much higher in the polls. To be frank, I don’t understand WHY O’Malley is polling behind Sanders. He’s just as liberal, but comes in a package regular America will eat up.

    But yeah, VP Biden isn’t going to run.

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  8. I think it is a little unfair to say that Biden’s candidacy is a “jest” as someone above has commented. Sure, he does not come across as someone flamboyant, or probably comes across as someone who is likely to commit several gaffes along the way. However, you could say the same about Rand Paul on the other side. The impression most people get on first viewing is that he speaks sense, probably in a more earthy way than you are used to, unlike the “earthy” politicians with their rehearsed lines. If I had a vote would I vote for Biden? Certainly. If I had a vote, would I vote for Hillary? Maybe. Even though it is slightly sad, in a way, that both her campaigns suffered and it looks likely she will never be President. I would have liked to see Biden debate. From what I saw in the previous campaigns, he is far more assured and quicker than people would have us believe.

    Of course, as an outsider I must sound like an idiot to comment on the various candidacies, but I have always maintained that the entire world must vote in the US elections so that we get to decide who bombs us, or sanctions us, or preaches to us 😀 I said that when Bush was campaigning for his second term and I said that when Obama was running (“Mitt” and McCain, both). But who knows, your countrymen have a knack for voting to power people who would not have been elected elsewhere 🙂 (Sorry, no offense).

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  9. Fro the distance of Australia I’m watching this theatre hardly able to believe the figures Trump is getting. From what I’ve read of Biden he seems genuinely liked and respected while Hillary is to say the best boring, to say the worst dodgy. And I love what I hear of Sanders – but a socialist in America? Someone commented in our papers today that it will be a depressing comment on the American political system if both parties rely on the same two families, Bush and Clinton, for their candidates.

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  10. Concerned about ole Biden? He’s silly.
    Worried about Hil’ry? She’s chilly.
    It’s not what is ‘now’
    From those two cows:
    I’m not scared of now, but of what ‘could be.’

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  11. I have to assume that Clinton will get the nomination. Those who oppose her will continue to throw dirt. Those who support her have heard it all before and will ignore any charges.. I think she is immune as far as the negatives go. So much has been said about her that nothing will stick. She is a known commodity. Once the GOP settles on a candidate she will look much better to moderates.

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    • josephurban,

      Are you unaware of this section of U.S. statutory law, on the books since 1948?

      U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 101, Section 2071

      §2071. Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

      Paragraph a: “Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

      Paragraph b: “Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.

      Or this U.S. statute, also on the books since 1948?

      U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 37, Section 793

      §793. Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

      Paragraph f: “Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

      Why do you take all this so lightly, josephurban? You don’t care? Why not? Your principles are so thin that you’ll vote for a criminal, as long as she’s your kind of criminal?

      (If you’re going to respond by pointing out some crime that another candidate — past or present — committed, remember this: Two wrongs don’t cancel each other out…they’re just two wrongs.)

      – Jeff

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      • There’s been the a lot of effort from the Clinton campaign to downplay this action, and for the most part it’s working. Like the argument that nothing was restricted at the time of its acquisition, or recently Clinton’s weak approach of saying it just slipped her mind. I’m not going to point out any crimes by other politicians, but it’s important to keep in mind why this happened to Clinton. Practically the same thing happened to Chris Christie and hardly anyone cares. I’m also very much not a Hillary supporter but you do bring up an interesting point. I very much doubt she’ll see any jail time, at most just a slap on the wrist.

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      • Jordan, you may be right. But if so, have you thought through why she won’t see any jail time? That set of reasons has a pretty bad stench too:

        (If the Justice Department doesn’t charge her, how can they be viewed as being objective? And if they’re not objective, what kind of a country are we left with?)

        – Jeff

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        • Well they have a long history of not being objective, I don’t think that’s very disputed. This is more clear on the local level, but is also apparent on the national level. A family such as the Clintons’ that has an enormous amount of power and influence, not to mention all the donors that have given her hundreds of thousands of dollars, the power is on her side. So what are we left with? Well the same thing as before. This isn’t a new development. Any look at history will show that courts are there to reinforce the ruling power and that is just what Clinton represents.

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          • A million wrongs don’t make a right, either. They’re just a million wrongs, by tens of thousands of elitist politicians. I wouldn’t vote for Christie or Powell. The sheer volume of these questionable government acts is no reason to throw up our hands and tolerate institutionalized corruption, from any politician — of any political party.
            – Jeff

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      • I will regurgitate a comment I wrote 4 months ago on another blog:

        My fantasy: Dept. of Justice (DOJ) as an independent and objective branch of government.

        Why is it a fantasy? Because “independent and objective” are impossible to achieve permanently, since such a DOJ would be very powerful. Any powerful government institution becomes a goal for conquest by those with nefarious political ambition.

        To this flawed human race of ours, the intoxicating compulsion to covet power over others is our curse — as the Founders knew. They crafted the finest structure that is probably possible for ethical government, but alas the worms still find their way into the apple ’til the core is rotten.

        11th Commandment?: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s unalienable rights.”

        – Jeff

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      • Yep. i am aware of the codes you mentioned. Are you aware that they do not apply for the following reasons.
        1. There was no intent to distribute any documents, etc.
        Q. Do you have EVIDENCE that the Secretary of State intentionally transmitted classified information to an unauthorized person? Share it, please.
        2. There is absolutely NO EVIDENCE that any document, etc was ever transmitted to anyone other than the person to whom it was addressed.
        Q. Do you have any evidence that a person, other than the one for whom it was intended, ever had access to or received classified information? Share, please.
        3. There is no evidence that any classified information was destroyed.
        Q. Do have have any evidence of any classified information that was destroyed so that it is no longer available to the US? Share, please.
        4 Is there any evidence of gross negligence on the part of Mrs. Clinton (only applies IF you have evidence that any defense department information was somehow shared). Gross negligence would be a willful and careless use of the email system from her server. Of course, Mrs Clinton has , on her side, the past practices of the Bush administration officials (Rice and Powell) who also had servers. Was the Bush administration negligent in not ending that system? If not, why not? If so, was that ever communicated to Mrs. Clinton? If this was an acceptable past practice it can surely not be considered gross negligence.
        Q. What evidence do you have that sensitive information was compromised by Powell or Rice, and that this was shared with Mrs. Clinton? Share, please.

        What we have is our usual armchair lawyers and armchair generals trying to make a case for something when they have no case. I invite you to give us the specif answers to the questions I have asked.
        In my opinion, if Mrs Clinton was not the frontrunner for the Dem nomination none of this would be happening. The GOP would be investigating Biden, Sanders or whomever they thought might win in 2016.

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        • I think it’s patently absurd that you base your righteous indignation on “lack of evidence,” when the investigation itself is precisely ABOUT Hillary Clinton’s unilateral concealment and deletion of evidence, through the sole imposition of her official authority to do so without ANY independent checks and balances, not even the State Department IG. She’s the single branch of government in the elitist ruling world in which she exists. I will bring up several examples of this singularity.

          A “lack of evidence” of criminality either means you couldn’t be more right, or it means you couldn’t be more wrong. I maintain that if there’s a lack of evidence, it is due to her spectacular success at getting rid of it, while you maintain that any lack of evidence is due to her angelic innocence. How rhetorically convenient for you.

          It’s analogous to a killer who murders somebody, and then before being arrested, he’s able to also murder all 7 of the witnesses to the original murder (and all witnesses to those murders). And then his lawyer claims he’s innocent of murder because there are no witnesses that can testify against him. (BTW, in this analogy the original “murder” is the Benghazi fiasco, for which she was subpoenaed to produce all her SoS correspondence.)

          The difference in our approach to assessing this situation is that I would have wanted the public to SEE an open accounting of the full unpurged contents of the server so they could confirm its innocence in open daylight, while you are somehow content to take Hillary’s sole word for what emails she did and didn’t delete in the shadow of darkness, even though she is the least objective witness imaginable.

          Let’s get into your cross-examination of me. The statutes I cited are cram-packed with OR’s (31 of them), not AND’s. Your argument picked out the weakest clauses and claimed “no evidence.” But your standard of what constitutes valid evidence is VERY generous towards Ms. Clinton. And you didn’t address the clauses that have clearer evidence. Since the clauses are linked by OR’s, you can pick some of them apart all you want, but if even one OR’d clause is left standing, then reasonable probable cause is substantiated.

          Addressing the Section 2071 statute, Paragraph A, I will show the unassailable clauses: She “willfully concealed” the contents of her government emails (each of which is a “record…document, or other thing, filed or deposited…in any public office, or with any…public officer of the United States…“), by not utilizing a government-maintained, government-backed-up, and encrypted server. Why did she do this? She says she chose to co-mingle her personal and government email on one server (housed in a barn on her property, operated by the former Director of Information Technology for her 2008 campaign, Bryan “Plead-the-Fifth” Pagliano) for her “convenience,” so she wouldn’t have to juggle multiple handheld devices. Yet it’s been shown that she had multiple devices anyway. Obviously, by this co-mingling arrangement she knew she would enjoy an unsupervised ability to produce only what information she chose to reveal to any FOIA (freedom of information act) requests about the written correspondence of the U.S. Secretary of State. That is not transparency, and the decision to implement that scheme was unilateral, singular, unchecked.

          Then, among other things, Benghazi happened. Then she bumped her head, allowing her testimony to be delayed until the eve of her resignation from the office of SoS — the clever timing emboldening her to whine, “What difference at this point does it make?” Classic Clintonian maneuver, that. Stonewall…stonewall..stonewall…for months and years, and then shrug with your palms up and say “oh, gee, that’s old news…means nothing now.”

          Then she left government, making no effort to turn over all records of the government correspondence regarding her government acts from the server in her barn. Eventually, on 10/28/2014 as the heat increased, the State Department asked her to return her “public record” to the government. This was 21 months after she left office. 21 months of unsupervised sole custody of her entire electronic record of email correspondence. She says she only deleted personal emails from the co-mingled server. You say there is no evidence that she is lying. I say she has produced no evidence that she’s telling the truth. You’ll probably respond with “innocent until proven guilty.” This isn’t a court of law (yet). But it’s a constitutional republic established by the consent of the governed. A public official has the responsibility to openly account for all written records of her official actions, in an unfalsifiable and auditable manner. If this was evidence in a murder trial, this would have been a 21-month break in the verifiable custody chain. Her actions were unaccounted for, just the way she wanted it.

          She recently even claimed that she meticulously went through and deleted all of her personal emails from the server BEFORE she left office. She said Department regulations required this to be approved by a responsible department official. All done by the book. Except SHE was the approving official. Oh, how perfect! Another singularity. Nothing to see here, move along folks.

          So I maintain that nearly the entire Paragraph B of Section 2071 applies: “Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

          Are you still going to try to apply the “there is no evidence that she destroyed evidence” defense? When there was no accountability of her official email records from Day 1, and especially in the 21 months after she left office before the State Department politely asked for its electronic record back from her? Really, that’s your assertion? That’s somebody you think will look much better to moderates when the stench blows over?

          She (or “Plead-the-Fifth” Pagliano) then wiped her email server clean of all emails older than 60 days before responding to a March 2015 subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi, permanently covering her tracks on which emails she deleted.

          Oh by the way, she recently assured us that her home-brew email server had been approved by the State Department. That approval came right from the very top of the State Department. Perfect! Another singularity. There’s no stench at all, provided you don’t knock the clothespin off your nose.

          Now let’s move on to the matter of classified material. Note that Section 793 Paragraph f does not contain the words “willfully” or “intent.” So I’m not going to bother answering any of your silly assertions or questions about “intent.” You implied I’m being an armchair lawyer. That’s the pot calling the kettle black. At least my arm chair has a straight back and isn’t a Lazy Boy.

          Because your circular logic is leading you endlessly back around to a viewpoint that her server was totally on the up-and-up, most of your argument is based on a premise that it was OK for classified information to be on that server in her barn. You’ve adjusted your blinders perfectly to see only what you want to see, and obscure everything you don’t want to accept or even acknowledge. Do we even have to argue over the following obvious fact?: It is absolutely illegal for classified information to be co-mingled with unclassified personal information on an unsecure private server connected to the public internet. Clearly she knows that everybody knows this piece of common sense…why else would she have claimed for so many months that no classified information was ever on her private server?

          The clear overarching point is this: That server never was a “proper place of custody” from the get-go. Its domain name (clintonemail.com) was on the public internet. Secure government networks for highly classified information (i.e. “top secret”) are strictly prohibited from being connected to the unencrypted public internet. Yet her server was publically connected, and therefore hackable. That’s gross negligence, clear as a bell. She had a national security responsibility not just to be sure a hack “shouldn’t” happen, or “probably won’t” happen, but “absolutely can’t” happen. I don’t need to show you evidence that it was hacked and the information fell into the wrong hands. Since I don’t work for the government and I have no power of subpoena, if I had any such evidence I would be a felon too…so your request for me to produce evidence on a dang blog is silly, blustery showmanship.

          On any normal earth-like planet where the sky is blue, it’s obviously gross negligence for the U.S. Secretary of State to approve (for herself, unilaterally) a private email server to be connected to the public internet and even RECEIVE classified information (marked or unmarked) from networks that aren’t even supposed to be interconnected – never mind what she did with the classified information AFTER it got onto the server. Even if it was unmarked, national security training includes extensive instruction on what is classified and what is not. So I’m not buying the naïve “how was she supposed to know” BS. I’m actually not even buying the assertion that it was unmarked, or retroactively marked – but’s that’s secondary. Primarily, I assert that if you have a “need to know” – then you know what you’re looking at when you see it. If she’s hiding behind an “I didn’t know it was classified information” defense, that’s essentially a self-disqualification to being President of the United States.

          I just loved your question, “Do you have any evidence of any classified information that was destroyed so that it is no longer available to the US?” It was so clever how you added your own definition of destroyed, as “no longer available to the US.” Rich revisionist logic, that. Not worth responding to (other than to expose it), but rich nevertheless.

          You go right ahead and keep those blinders carefully adjusted so you can play your game of mental Twister and contort yourself into prevaricating this is all just perfectly prudent and responsible behavior by your admirably qualified presidential candidate. You said “if Mrs Clinton was not the frontrunner for the Dem nomination none of this would be happening.” Yet this started “happening” while she was SoS, and continued to grow during her hiatus from the public eye, long before the 2016 campaign season began. Are you saying that since she is a prominent political figure that is running for President of the U.S., we SHOULDN’T look deeply into this matter with every expectation of 100% transparency, and finally some straight talk? And everyone that DOES want to look deeply into it has only libelous motives?

          From America’s elected government officeholders (all of them, whether I voted for them or not), I expect transparency, integrity, humility, realization that they are public servants and not a privileged ruling class, and recognition that the laws of the United States apply to everyone equally. I don’t live by their arbitrary edict. They govern by my consent – actually by the aggregate consent from all of us. That’s why I make an effort to get people to deeply consider just exactly to what and to whom they are consenting.

          In addition, elected government representatives (local, state, federal) bear the ethical burden of a higher standard of openness in their lawful behavior than private citizens, as the reciprocal payback for receiving our trust of their ethical use of their limited delegated powers. Maybe you don’t insist on that reciprocal expectation, but I do. The burden of proof is on THEM to show auditable, ethical, accountable behavior in their every public act. That ethical burden exists ALL the time, not just when questions arise. This is called political reciprocity between the governed and the governors. We should not let our consent be taken for granted by the corruptible humans we elect to govern us. If we do, shame on us.

          – Jeff

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          • Let’s try to separate fact from fiction. Presumption from evidence. Desire for reality.
            I am not sure why you are quite so adamant about NOT needing evidence, but, so be it. I would assume that evidence would be the only important data.

            Referring to the codes you listed. Are you aware that these codes refer to official documents? Documents which have been filed AND DEPOSITED with an officer if the government. ? Please reread the codes you refer to. That means a document, or map or plan of action has been FILED and is now part of the classified system. Do you have any evidence that Mrs. Clinton or Mr Powell or Ms Condi Rice used their personal servers to transmit OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS, knowingly or carelessly, to unauthorized persons? If they have done so I would agree with you that they may have violated this code.

            An email is not an official document. It is like an informal conversation. Like what we are doing right now. To suggest that you have the “right” to see all the emails of government officials ignores the need for privacy and national security. And to suggest that ALL emails, conversations, etc. are equivalent of “classified” makes less sense. What makes you think that you have the right to know ALL the conversations, emails, etc. , many of which may or may not contain personal information, sensitive matters, etc.? On one hand you claim that government officials must not communicate via personal servers because it could impact on national security. And I agree with you. But then you claim the right to see those very emails. So, the contradiction is that you think you have the “right” to see personal and/or secret information. That does not make sense to me.

            One of your weakest points, really, is your statement that a person (Mrs Clinton) should be considered guilty of criminal activity when NO CRIME has been committed. You are suggesting that , even though no evidence exists that any documents were ever transmitted illegally, the very POSSIBILITY of a document being transmitted illegally is tantamount to a crime. Really? So, if someone COULD break into my car, that is the same as me being irresponsible, even if my car was never broken into. The POSSIBILITY of a crime is not evidence. Again, you fall short in that area.

            This is the 9th or 10th Benghazi investigation. Every one of the others (mostly run by the GOP) have concluded there was no crime and no negligence. But, the GOP keeps trying. No evidence. Only hopes and attempts to find some way to turn this into a scandal.

            I do not disagree with at all that Clinton, Powell and rice were not using the best judgement by using personal servers. Did Powell intentionally or carelessly give away military secrets to al-Qaeda? Who knows? I doubt that he did. There is no evidence that he did. Perhaps a thorough investigation of how those servers were used, etc. might be in the national interest.

            Your suggestion that NOTHING can be kept secret from the American people fails to recognize the need for secrecy in many areas. Negotiations. Analysis of foreign leaders. Analysis of the foreign military strength. Secret weapons systems. Etc. We live in a real world. Not one where we need to be frightened all the time, but one in which we recognize the existence of real threats.

            this reminds me of the Whitewater “investigation” of the Clintons the last time the GOP was in power. A special prosecutor was appointed to look into the claims that the Clintons made millions through illegal land deals. No evidence emerged. No evidence of wrongdoing. No evidence of payoffs. The $4,000,000 taxpayer funded investigation yielded NOTHING.

            So, the committee changed gears. They decided to use tax dollars to investigate Mr Clinton’s private, sexual activities. They ended up funding the most expensive BJ in US history. Something similar is happening here. They investigated Benghazi and found NOTHING. So, they are attempting to switch and try to find something, ANYTHING, that they can use to smear Mrs, Clinton. Let’s not be naive. This is not about the “law”. It is about politics.

            Luckily, Mrs Clinton has DEMANDED a public hearing on this entire issue. While Gowdy and the GOP wanted her to testify behind closed doors, she refused. She will only testify in PUBLIC. A good move for her. Let them ask any questions they want. If they have evidence, present it. Let the people see for themselves what is really going on here.
            Don’t be afraid of evidence. It is the only thing that counts.

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            • josephurban, though you will no doubt reply to get the last word, this will be my last comment with you. You’re making up your main assertions as you go rather than doing any research, and you’re turning my words upside down and inside out to create strawmen to then debate against. This is pointless, though hopefully it’s informative to other readers.

              ”Referring to the codes you listed. Are you aware that these codes refer to official documents? Documents which have been filed AND DEPOSITED with an officer if the government. ? Please reread the codes you refer to. That means a document, or map or plan of action has been FILED and is now part of the classified system.”

              Though you referred to all the U.S.Code sections I listed, you’re only quoting from Section 793, and basing your counterargument on only that. The other Section (2071) says “any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing,”

              ”An email is not an official document. It is like an informal conversation. Like what we are doing right now.”

              Utterly incorrect. I don’t know what political analyst or op-ed pieces you get your debating points from. At the bottom of my comment, I will paste in the government website references and extensive excerpts that clearly spell out the definition of “Federal Records”. The definition includes email. And a State Department Manual dated Oct 1995 fully spells out the regulations regarding the recordkeeping requirements for all electronic communication including emails.

              ”To suggest that you have the “right” to see all the emails of government officials ignores the need for privacy and national security.”

              Every time you use the word “suggest” (4 times), it’s a rhetorical device to put words in my mouth that constitute an interpretation that’s easiest to argue against. I won’t take that bait.

              Per FOIA you, me, and every American “has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.” Details of all the exemptions and exclusions can be found by clicking the link.

              I certainly know that due to those exemptions and exclusions, some information is not releasable. Obviously. We’ve all seen heavily redacted responses to FOIA requests, for years.

              I didn’t say that I personally have the right “to see all the emails of government officials,” though it was convenient for you to say that I “suggested” it so you could argue against the words you placed in my mouth. I said “I would have wanted the public to SEE an open accounting of the full unpurged contents of the server so they could confirm its innocence in open daylight….” I worded it that way (i.e. “open accounting”) to indicate a congressional or FBI review (by authorized personnel) that produces an accounting (i.e. summary). Just like the FBI has recently been doing, to find the hundreds of classified emails. The other key word I used was “unpurged.”

              ”ignores the need for privacy and national security.”

              Read the extensive statutes and records management regulations at the bottom of this comment and you’ll see there is absolutely no expectation of privacy associated with the use of government computer resources. And I’ve already explained that I don’t personally want to see, with my own eyes, any classified information. I will quote a small portion of those extensive excerpts here:

              “5 FAM 443.2, Paragraph c. Under FRA regulations (36 CFR 1222.38), principal categories of materials, including E-mail, that are to be preserved are:
              —records that document the formulation and execution of basic policies and decisions and the taking of necessary actions;
              —records that document important meetings;
              —records that facilitate action by agency officials and their successors in office;
              —records that make possible a proper scrutiny by the Congress or other duly authorized agencies of the Government; and
              —records that protect the financial, legal, and other rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the Government’s actions.”

              All I was talking about was having the public SEE an open accounting of the results of “a proper scrutiny by the Congress or other duly authorized agencies of the Government” of the unpurged, original contents of Ms. Clinton’s email server.

              ”One of your weakest points, really, is your statement that a person (Mrs Clinton) should be considered guilty of criminal activity when NO CRIME has been committed. You are suggesting that , even though no evidence exists that any documents were ever transmitted illegally, the very POSSIBILITY of a document being transmitted illegally is tantamount to a crime.”

              I will again ignore what you “suggest” that I said. I didn’t say she was guilty. I specifically acknowledged this isn’t in a court of law (yet). (BTW, it is only your assertion that no crime was committed. That’s not a fact. It’s only a fact that there may be no evidence of a crime. As I’ve pointed out, part of the “crime” she potentially committed is the destroying of evidence, and I’m not going to prance around that circular paradox with you any longer. I don’t care if you won’t acknowledge the ironic paradox of your defense that “there is no evidence that she destroyed evidence.” It’s ridiculous to use that as a fundamental basis of your argument. “Actual Guilt” and “Provable Guilt” are not the same thing – that’s why I say you can only assert that she committed no crime.

              ”So, if someone COULD break into my car, that is the same as me being irresponsible, even if my car was never broken into. The POSSIBILITY of a crime is not evidence. Again, you fall short in that area.”

              Government officials and employees are trained to appreciate that even the “appearance of impropriety” is unacceptable from a standpoint of the ethics of public service. This concept is mostly peculiar to government service, not private citizens. Whether you understand or acknowledge this distinction, I don’t care. But it’s the reason why I won’t respond any further to your invalid use of an analogy between a public servant’s actions and a private citizen’s actions. You give the benefit of the doubt (quite blindly and naively, it seems to me) to public servants, and I do not. And one last time: Of course I’m not talking about legal guilt from a court – I’m talking about reasonable probable cause for suspicion and further criminal investigation. (Which is what I actually said, not what you “suggested” that I said).

              ”the GOP wanted her to testify behind closed doors, she refused. She will only testify in PUBLIC. A good move for her.”

              You just flatly say “she refused,” and it was a good move. What, is she a monarch? A queen? An empress? We’ve both shown that we understand some of this matter is classified, and shouldn’t be conducted in public. Beyond that understandable precaution, she has no extra rights beyond yours and mine to dictate where she will or won’t testify. Disgusting. And you’re even complimenting her for her this imperial conceit. I give up. If you want to let her hold herself at a level significantly higher than yourself, go ahead. It’s your self-esteem that you’re trampling on.

              All the rest of your response (“9th or 10th Benghazi investigation,” Whitewater, Gowdy, etc.) is just normal punch / counter-punch debate that takes place between commenters on blogs, in which I do not take part. Superficial debate of the retail-level of politics is a waste of time. I don’t listen to Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh for that very reason.

              Bye.

              – Jeff

              * * * * * * * * References * * * * * * * *

              http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2008-title44/pdf/USCODE-2008-title44-chap31-sec3101.pdf

              44 U.S. Code § 3101

              § 3101. Records management by agency heads; general duties: The head of each Federal agency shall make and preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency and designed to furnish the information necessary to protect the legal and financial rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities.
              (Pub. L. 90–620, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1297.)
              HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES: Based on 44 U.S. Code, 1964 ed., §396(a) (June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title V, §506(a), as added Sept. 5, 1950, ch. 849, §6(d), 64 Stat. 583).

              ************************

              http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/85696.pdf

              U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) Volume 5 – Information Management

              5 FAM Chapter 440, ELECTRONIC RECORDS, FACSIMILE RECORDS, AND ELECTRONIC MAIL RECORDS
              Section 443.1 Principles Governing E-Mail Communications (10-30-1995)
              Paragraph c: “Another important modern improvement is the ease of communication now afforded to the Department world-wide through the use of E-mail. Employees are encouraged to use E-mail because it is a cost-efficient communications tool. All employees must be aware that some of the variety of the messages being exchanged on E-mail are important to the Department and must be preserved; such messages are considered Federal records under the law. The following guidance is designed to help employees determine which of their E-mail messages must be preserved as Federal records and which may be deleted without further authorization because they are not Federal record materials.”

              5 FAM 443.2 Which E-Mail Messages are Records (10-30-1995)
              a. E-mail messages are records when they meet the definition of records in the Federal Records Act. The definition states that documentary materials are Federal records when they:
              —are made or received by an agency under Federal law or in connection with public business; and
              —are preserved or are appropriate for preservation as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government, or because of the informational value of the data in them.
              b. The intention of this guidance is not to require the preservation of every E-mail message. Its purpose is to direct the preservation of those messages that contain information that is necessary to ensure that departmental policies, programs, and activities are adequately documented. E-mail message creators and recipients must decide whether a particular message is appropriate for preservation. In making these decisions, all personnel should exercise the same judgment they use when determining whether to retain and file paper records.
              c. Under FRA regulations (36 CFR 1222.38), principal categories of materials, including E-mail, that are to be preserved are:
              —records that document the formulation and execution of basic policies and decisions and the taking of necessary actions;
              —records that document important meetings;
              —records that facilitate action by agency officials and their successors in office;
              —records that make possible a proper scrutiny by the Congress or other duly authorized agencies of the Government; and
              —records that protect the financial, legal, and other rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the Government’s actions.
              d. For example, just like paper records, E-mail messages that may constitute Federal records include:
              (1) E-mail providing key substantive comments on a draft action memorandum, if the E-mail message adds to a proper understanding of the formulation or execution of Department action;
              (2) E-mail providing documentation of significant Department decisions and commitments reached orally (person to person, by telecommunications, or in conference) and not otherwise documented in Department files;
              (3) E-mail conveying information of value on important Department activities, e.g. data on significant programs specially compiled by posts in response to a Department solicitation, if the E-mail message adds to a proper understanding of Department operations and responsibilities.

              5 FAM 443.3 How to Preserve E-Mail Records (10-30-1995)
              For those E-mail messages and attachments that meet the statutory definition of records, it is essential to ensure that the record documentation include the E-mail message, any attachments, and essential transmission data (i.e. who sent the message, the addressees and any other recipients, and when it was sent). In addition, information about the receipt of messages should be retained if users consider it necessary for adequately documenting Department activities. If transmission and necessary receipt data is not printed by the particular E-mail system, the paper copies must be annotated as necessary to include such data. Until technology allowing archival capabilities for long-term electronic storage and retrieval of E-mail messages is available and installed, those messages warranting preservation as records (for periods longer than current E-mail systems routinely maintain them) must be printed out and filed with related records. Instructions for printing and handling of Federal records for most of the Department’s existing Email systems have been prepared and will be available through bureau Executive Offices.

              5 FAM 443.5 Points to Remember About E-Mail (10-30-1995)
              —Department E-mail systems are for official use only by authorized personnel.
              —The information in the systems is Departmental, not personal. No expectation of privacy or confidentiality applies.
              —Before deleting any E-mail message, apply these guidelines to determine whether it meets the legal definition of a records and if so, print it.
              —Be certain the printed message kept as a record contains the essential transmission and receipt data; if not, print the data or annotate the printed copy.
              —File the printed messages and essential transmission and receipt data with related files of the office.
              —Messages that are not records may be deleted when no longer needed.
              —Certain E-mail messages that are not Federal records may still be subject to pending requests and demands under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and litigation and court orders, and should be preserved until no longer needed for such purposes.
              —Classified information must be sent via classified E-mail channels only, with the proper classification identified on each document.
              —When E-mail is retained as a record, the periods of its retention is governed by records retention schedules. Under those schedules, records are kept for defined periods of time pending destruction or transfer to the National Archives.

              Like

              • Necessary and Proper. Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You make some very good points and I do not completely disagree with you. For example, I think it was poor judgement for Clinton and Powell to use private emails so extensively. And the changes to the law, in 2014, after they had left office has clarified the use of private emails.
                We will have to agree to disagree on few points.
                1.The 1995 regulations do have a loophole for State employees. That loophole is in section 5FAM 443.2 , Section b. Unless I am misreading that particular statute, it gives each employee the discretion to decide whether or not a given email is to be saved or deleted. A rather big loophole.
                My point, Whether the spirit of the law (which is important) was violated or not, the letter of the law is what determines criminal activity.
                2. You make a very good point about the possible destruction of evidence. In this case, I am not sure what kind of evidence the committee would be suggesting has been destroyed. At any rate, the absence of evidence cannot be construed to mean that evidence was destroyed. It is a Catch 22, to be sure. But the ASSUMPTION that something existed and was destroyed is a pretty long reach. We will have to agree to disagree that the lack of evidence implies destruction of evidence.
                3. When I said that you desired to see all the confidential records of government I misunderstood your point. I agree with you that the public has the right to know if any illegal actions took place. That can be done by a third party, not a partisan committee. Perhaps we agree on that point.
                4. When I said that Clinton “refused” to testify in private you said that she was acting as a “queen ” or “empress”. I disagree. She agreed to testify FULLY. She has refused to testify in private for good reason. During the Issa investigation, and in the Gowdy investigation private testimony was and has been selectively “leaked” . We saw this in the IRS committee. I would think that her demand to testify in public would be welcomed by those who want the public to know the truth. If, at any time, sensitive or classified material is discussed it is easy to go into executive session. A public hearing gives Mrs. Clinton, the Gowdy Committee investigating Benghazi and the public protection against selective reporting and leaks. Not sure why anyone would oppose that. I think Clinton should be asked , under oath, whether any emails relating to Benghazi are still missing. No other issues are part of the committees focus.

                I appreciate the depth of your replies and research. As I said, we are approaching the issue for different points of view and will have to agree to disagree.
                Hopefully the testimony Clinton gives will clarify the issues you have raised.

                Like

  12. i live in probably the other side of the world as how we always refer it to be…i am also at times not anymore aware of what;s going on in your place but your site just gave me so much insights on the upcoming election as well awareness of “everything America”…thanks

    Like

  13. I think the Clinton brand is far too damaged to win a presidency. I feel if a Clinton or Bush wins the presidency The USA is looking at the 1770’s, The US being ruled by a ‘royalty’. If Trump gets the presidency the US will be facing the 1860’s, enormous internal division. Worst of all trump doesn’t need the GOP to endorse him, he has more than enough money to fund his own campaign. its almost look like the GOP needs Trumps endorsement, Trump even admitted to buying political favors. Well that’s whit it looks like from media here in Australia. It must be nice having a leader for 4 years, in the last 4 years we have had 4 leaders.

    Like

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