Analyst claims Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal could hurt her bid for the U.S. presidency in 2016, and the question is how much, experts said. The issue has been making headlines in months, yet it’s only recently that the Federal Bureau of Investigation began looking into whether classified information was wrongly handled since Clinton used a private email account and server as state secretary under President Barack Obama. Indeed, it could damage her campaign if the Republican Party successfully craft a narrative that paints a picture of what is, in their opinion, a secretive Clinton who plays by her own rules, experts said. So far, Clinton has made statements that have not helped her, dismissing the issue with humor recently that many deemed inappropriate due to the gravity of the allegations.
While leaving at the end of a recent press conference, Clinton raised her hands high above head and shrugged her shoulders in a gesture to critics, rightly or wrongly, billed as a sign that Clinton believes the scandal is of minimal importance, said the critics. Whether or not Clinton believes the problem will go away, Republicans are sure to use the controversy to their advantage and go on the attack in an effort to gain maximum media exposure on the issue.
“The Republicans will ensure that it will not go away. And as it plays frequently in soundbites and newspaper headlines, the public will not be allowed to forget it,” Harlan Ullman, chairman of the Killowen Group and senior adviser at the Atlantic Council, told Xinhua. Brookings Institution’s senior fellow Darrell West told Xinhua that the email scandal has hurt Clinton. “It has raised old doubts about her honesty and integrity, and this has weakened her favorability numbers,” he said. “How she does depends on whether other Democrats get into the race. If Vice President Joe Biden enters the campaign, that would be a major challenge to her nomination.
That would give Democrats a viable alternative to her if this scandal does not go away,” he added. But the elections are still a year away, and it’s possible that U.S. media will tire of the scandal as the election gets closer and focus more on the excitement and major historic possibility of America electing the first female president. Aside from the email scandal, Clinton is facing challenges from other Democratic candidates.