Not that they haven’t been asked about it, because they have been. They’ve simply decided to demure on the issue and avoid passing judgment. Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders, all refused to engage in criticism when given the opportunity. In fact, in the case of Sanders, he chided the press before the topic even came up.

Report from US News:

If there was ever a moment for a Democratic presidential aspirant to take a legitimate whack at Hillary Clinton, the recent flap over her email usage offered it.

And yet, crickets.

Clinton’s performance at the U.N. on Tuesday – where she acknowledged it would have been smarter to use government email as secretary of state but still defended her decision to delete thousands of personal emails on a server she owns – was roundly panned as evasive, contradictory and insufficient.

But the men who are lightly flirting with the prospect of challenging Clinton – though they’re all finding little oxygen for their messages thus far – are giving her a pass.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signaled Wednesday he’s sick of the whole thing, and showed no interest in delving into questions about Clinton’s transparency.

Asked about the topic du jour at the Brookings Institution, O’Malley deflected by saying he was no expert on federal or state open-record requirements.

“And frankly, I’m a little sick of the email drama,” he continued.

When the next hand shot up with a question, O’Malley quipped, “You’re not going to ask about emails, are ya?”

Some have characterized his remarks as a “jab.” But that’s an insult to boxing. This was not even a glancing blow.

Before Clinton spoke about the controversy, Sanders chided reporters for even raising the topic.

“You want to ask me about the state of the economy, unemployment, poverty. You would not ask me about my views on Hillary Clinton,” he recently instructed, according to Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel.

Then there’s former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who popped briefly back into the conversation Tuesday with a rare public appearance at the International Association of Firefighters conference in Washington.

After his remarks but before Clinton’s on Tuesday, Webb told reporters the email saga was “between her and you all.”

He indicated he wanted to listen to her explanation, and then “people will make conclusions in a better way than I can.”

Another slow pitch. Another whiff.

A Webb spokesman did not respond to a phone call and email inquiry Wednesday seeking to see if the potential candidate’s views had changed.

At this point, I don’t blame them for not criticizing the current Democratic front-runner. If Hillary falters, they’ll need to court her supporters and they certainly do not want to come off as aiding Republicans in a witch-hunt of Hillary’s email server.

For the average Democratic primary voter, this is likely a non-scandal created by the media and bolstered by Republicans in congress to help them in 2016. Webb, O’Malley, and Sanders, have no reason to galvanize Democratic voters against them before the campaign even officially starts.


  1. Two things. First, Democrats see the email flap as a conspiracy between Republicans and the media. If they chimed in, they’d be seen as cavorting with the enemy.

    Second, it underlines the fact that the media are lazy and not very clever. They’re asking Dems to attack their heir apparent, directly. Duh. Instead, they should ask questions such as, “Do YOU use official email?” And, “Do you think it’s wise to have govt officials use govt email?” And, “Do you think the rules are for accountability, or the public’s right to know?”

    Questions such as that would focus on process, not personality, and would give the prospects a chance to say something substantive, instead of, “no comment” replies.

    • Someone asked O’Mally something like that, whether it is “important” that officials use their official government email address:

      Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says if he were president, it would be important as commander in chief to have his secretary of state use the official server for business.

      “Well sure, it would be important to me,” he said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked about Hillary Clinton’s email practices at the State Department. But he said getting the economy working would be more important.

      • This is the original source:

        But the trouble is that it’s framed in future tense. Of COURSE, everyone, everwhere is going to say a Sec of State “should” use govt email. Even Hillary says that.

        The question should have been framed in the present or past tense.

        Also, nobody seems to know if Hillary used official email when she was senator. She set up her private email when she went before Congress. Does that mean she used Senate email before that?

  2. The New York Times, 3/13/15 Guidelines On Email Use Were Vague,
    “Until Three Months Ago There Was No Law.”
    “Members of President Obama’s cabinet have a
    wide variety of strategies, shortcuts and tricks for handling their email, and until three months ago there was no law setting out precisely what they had to do with it, and when. And while the majority of Obama administration officials use government email to conduct their business, there has never been any legal prohibition against using a personal account.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s disclosure that she exclusively used a private email address while she was secretary of state and later deleted thousands of messages she deemed “personal” opens a big picture
    window into how vague federal email guidelines have been for the most senior government leaders.”

    Of course, this is the nearest thing to an apology that Hilary Clinton, General Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and a few others will ever get from careless editors.

  3. These other Dem candidates are only running so they can write a book – how about one of them grows a set and says something simple, yet effective like – “a lack of transparency is detrimental to a thriving democracy”

    • Perskey 69…was that just on your wish list or do you know of any politican, regardless of party, that operated under any form of transparency? The best economy the US has known in 100 years was under a president who didn’t know that word existed.

      • I just think it would be a great way for another Dem not named Hillary Clinton to get some traction since the article was about Dem rivals being silent

  4. Unless Hillary forks over her private-in-her-house internet Server for complete analysis of ALL emails she sent and received during her 4 years as Sec of State, as demanded by Law — Hillary must be charged with criminal obstruction.

    Either way — It’s Bye-bye Hitlery for “President”…so much of her dirty laundry keeps piling up, that not even the Main Stream Media can wash it away…LOL!

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