Even at Off-The-Record Podesta Dinner, Hillary’s Allowed to Avoid Media

AP Photo

There’s no question Hillary’s decision to formally announce her candidacy for the presidency in a “low-key” way Sunday is designed to avoid the press.  For years, the normal course of events after a presidential announcement has been for the candidate to show up everywhere for a series of interviews meant to build momentum. Instead, Hillary intends announce via social media and then hold small, tightly-controlled “discussion events” with supporters in Iowa.

The gaffe-prone candidate who is currently embroiled in an email scandal that even a friendly mainstream media can’t ignore, knows that there is no way for her to deal even with softball questions on the matter.

Apparently, Hillary also doesn’t feel she is ready to deal with the media, even in an off-the-record capacity.

The Huffington Post reports that long-time Hillary henchman John Podesta hosted an off-the-record journalist dinner Thursday..

Podesta, who is Hillary’s campaign chairman, offered drinks and cooked dinner for reporters “from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press and several major TV networks.”

A Huffington Post reporter was also there.

But guess who wasn’t…

Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The mainstream media knows she’s avoiding them. Will they say so out loud? Or does that kind of Narrative threaten to hurt the Democrats’ only 2016 hope, especially in a climate where her candidacy already appears to be in trouble.

If the media really wants Hillary to sit down and answer questions, they can either make her do so or make her pay a heavy political price if she doesn’t.

This is something we have seen the media do to Republicans, repeatedly.

Although the IRS had already seen and approved of Mitt Romney’s taxes, the media spent months filleting him on the issue. Throughout all of it, Romney stumbled around on defense — which was the whole point. This Narrative also benefitted the Obama campaign’s goal of othering Romney as a plutocrat.

Hillary’s tactic here is one that has served the Clintons well for a quarter-century: wait for a Get-Out-Of-Scandal Free card after the media gets what it really wants, which is not to get to the bottom of a Clinton scandal.

What the media really wants is to change the topic to Republican overreach.

Hillary is waiting until the media can contrive something some Republican says about the email scandal into overreach. Then she will be seen everywhere on television playing the victim/womyn/sexist card. The topic of discussion will be the mean GOP, not her inexplicable behavior.

We’ve already had a president who launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist, spent 20 years at the knee of a racist hate preacher, hid his school records, and had absolutely no executive experience.

If the media didn’t care about that, why should they care about a secret email server, 30,000 deleted emails, and millions of dollars in foreign donations.

After all, what difference does it make?


John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC