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Tom Brady just got handed a four-game suspension for his role in “Deflategate.” Poor fella. He now has to spend a month of Sundays cooped up at home with Gisele. If I were DirecTV’s braintrust, I’d try to convince Brady to do one of those Sunday package ads lickety-split. On the heels of Brady’s punishment, I posted this item at Forbes.com. My thoughts:
1) There’s an opening here for the Republican National Committee: change Reince Priebus’ job-title from chairman to commissioner. Then wait for Trump to say or do something outrageous (that won’t take long). And once he does, suspend Trump for the first four primaries and caucuses of 2016.
More seriously . . .
2) There’s a lesson in Brady’s downfall for Hillary Clinton, beginning with the parallels between Deflategate and Servergate. That would include:
— Brady reportedly destroyed a cell phone; Hillary destroyed thousands of emails;
— Brady and the New England Patriots’ front office probably calculated that, in the end, the league would let him off easy. Hillary and her political handlers probably have calculated that, in the end, voters will care little about federal email policy.
— Their loyal followers will play the conspiracy card — Bradyites saying NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wanted to target a high-profile white player; Clintonistas saying it’s only rabid right-wingers who care about Mrs. Clinton’s e-correspondence.
Here’s the big takeaway from Deflategate that the Clinton camp will overlook: it wasn’t so much Brady’s role in taking air out of footballs that landed the quarterback a big punishment as it was his reportedly jerking around the league’s investigators.
Put another way: it wasn’t the crime so much as it was the cover-up.
Which is pretty much how and why Servergate is chipping away at Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions.
Even if everything she’s done with regard to her State Department emails is legally on the up-and-up, there’s still the uneasy feeling that the candidate hasn’t been completely upfront about her actions.
Again, it’s not the crime, but the cover-up — in this case, the nagging thought that, even if she hasn’t done anything wrong, what’s Hillary Clinton hiding?
Which, in turn, leads to the decades-old perception problem of both Clintons as anything but honest and forthcoming – the kind of discomfort that could weigh on voters’ minds.
Here, I’ll defer to The National Journal’s Ron Fournier — a reporter, pundit and, in this election cycle, a self-appointed “Clintonologist”.
Here’s what Fournier’s surmised about Servergate: the candidate’s explanations are “legalistic at best, deceptive at worst . . .”
“Clinton has put herself in a box. She can either hand the server over to an independent third party, who would protect her private email and our government’s working email. Or she can stonewall.
The latter course gives every voter the right—and every self-respecting journalist the responsibility—to ask, “What were you hiding, Hillary?”
What are you hiding?”
We may never find out what Tom Brady had hiding in that missing cell phone.
Just as we may never find out what-all’s on Mrs. Clinton’s stashed server.
Unlike Tom Brady, Hillary Clinton won’t be sidelined for playing fast and loose with her explanations.
But if Hillary Clinton continues to be legalistic and tricky, she’ll find her White House aspirations fast-fading.