OPINION

Comey’s words could deny Clinton the presidency

Dennis Lennox

The Clintons once again straddled the line just enough to avoid criminal sanctions.

That was the big takeaway from Tuesday’s announcement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation director that criminal charges would not be recommended against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her “extremely careless” use of a homebrew email server.

Of course, this was nothing new for Clinton or her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Just ask anyone who lived through the 1990s: The Clintons have always stunk.

Unfortunately, Clinton is all the Democrats have this time around.

For all of Donald Trump’s problems, the fact remains that her honest and trustworthy numbers are horrendous. Around 62 percent of Americans say Clinton isn’t honest, according to the latest polls.

Sure, federal authorities will not indict the former secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady, but the political damage inflicted by FBI Director James Comey is real.

Comey’s announcement was also a political lifeline to Trump.

It’s just what the brash Republican standard-bearer needed to change the narrative and shake up the presidential campaign at a time when many pundits and observers thought he was all but finished.

You can guarantee GOP partisans have already produced TV ads with clips of Comey rebuking Clinton’s conduct, including her use of private email on the soil of “hostile” and “sophisticated adversaries.” One can only imagine what sort of intelligence — classified or not — Russia, China and other foreign powers collected.

Then there are the countless other scandals that overshadowed the Clintons the last time they lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Whitewater, Travelgate, the campaign finance scandals involving communist Chinese donors and access to the Lincoln bedroom, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, impeachment and perjury. The list of Clinton scandals goes on and on. Then there is the Clinton Foundation cash-for-access scheme, which involved taking money from foreign governments while Hillary was secretary of state, and her secretive and highly lucrative speeches on the after-dinner circuit.

It’s obvious the Clintons haven’t changed their ways.

The big question is will Americans give the Clintons another opportunity to disgrace the presidency.

Yes, Bill, in conjunction with a Republican-controlled Congress, accomplished much over his two terms, but the ethical and moral failures of the Clintons stained what otherwise would have been a remarkable record.

Millennial voters, most of whom have no memory of the 1990s, will be key in deciding whether America sends Hillary and Bill back to the White House.

That explains why President Barack Obama is desperately trying to patch together the electoral coalition that propelled his two victories.

Yet even Obama’s magic touch may not be enough this time around as Clinton can’t count on blue-collar voters in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, which have went Democrat in every presidential election since 1992.

If Trump can tighten his message and unify the GOP coming out of the party’s convention later this month — after all, nothing brings Republicans together more than the Clintons — then he has a real chance.

Dennis Lennox is a freelance columnist and Republican consultant.

Twitter: @dennislennox