Chuck Todd: Clinton Scandals Are 'Circumstantial,' Usually Fade Away

April 25th, 2015 5:45 PM

NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd granted an interview to their affiliate station WWQC in Davenport, Iowa. He unloaded the conventional wisdom on anchor Marcia Lense when she asked if the newest uranium scandal with the Clinton Foundation and Team Obama would change the game with voters, or if this would fade away.

Todd picked (b). Journalists think scandals never end up hurting the Clintons. They’re just “circumstantial scandals” that the Clintons always survive – in part because the liberal journalists very much want them to survive [hat tip Ulysses Arn]:

CHUCK TODD: If history is a guide, I think it’s more of the latter. It’s more likely this is fought politically to a draw. The Clintons have experienced, what I would call them, circumstantial scandals. Allegations, a lot of smoke, a little like unseemly aspect of how they conducted their business, clearly with the speaking fees and their connection to the foundation. But there’s never that actual smoking gun that says "Oh, there was a quid pro quo" or "it was connected to this." It’s the appearance of this. And it never, if you look at it over time – you put yourself in their shoes and they believe they’ll wear this out, they’ll survive it.

On the other hand, Republicans feel like they’re opening at least one big problem for her, and that’s the issue of being honest and trustworthy, and that right now, she’s underwater on that question, and these stories only make that worse. Now, does this motivate another Democrat to get in the race? That’s the only way you sit here and say "now there’s trouble for Hillary Clinton," is if it makes a big-name Democrat to say, "you know what? Maybe she’s vulnerable. Maybe I will get in." But there’s no evidence of that yet.

Dear Chuck: Older voters remember Monica Lewinsky and her blue dress were not a “circumstantial evidence” scandal. I'd bet Chuck is thinking about 1992 and about how no big-name Democrat like Mario Cuomo entered the race in the late stages to contest Bill Clinton. (Jerry Brown doesn't count.)

There are two competing views of the Clinton scandals right now. The anti-Clinton side argues that these accumulating scandals ought to multiply and expand to underline the theory that the Clintons are deeply unethical and never stop committing unethical behavior. The pro-Clinton side is arguing that since the Clintons are always portrayed as invincible, any new scandal is just going to end up being irrelevant. Chuck is clearly employing the pro-Clinton talking points.

Notice how Chuck is expected to grade this like he’s watching a sporting event. Lense doesn't care about the substance of what happened at the Clinton Foundation. The NBC star should be asked why the press never cared about the massive potential for conflicts of interest with the intermingling of the foundation and the State Department.

"If history is a guide," the liberal media will be enabling the Clintons more than investigating them.