David Webb: Political prizefighting 101 and the 2016 knockouts

David Webb: Political prizefighting 101 and the 2016 knockouts
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First you win, then you make policy — that’s my steadfast rule. It’s simply an unbeatable point — there has to be a path to victory. In that light, let’s examine Republican and Democratic efforts, presidential politics and uncomfortable truths. 

In prizefighting, first you weaken the core, then you go for the knockout punch. For the Republican contenders in 2016, this is a long way off. Changing polls demonstrate this. For the Democrats, front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 The Hill's Campaign Report: High stakes at last Democratic debate before Super Tuesday MORE has just delivered a knockout in the political ring in her Benghazi testimony.  


By doing public hearings as the former secretary of State requested, the Republicans caved, knowing they cannot talk about some of the secret and possibly ongoing operations under the CIA or otherwise. Too many of the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi did what I expected, grandstanding for their reelection efforts instead of offering an organized line of questioning. They also gave Clinton’s campaign its most valuable piece of publicity following the first Democratic debate earlier this month. To her base, she stood strong against the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Clinton is no longer the presumptive Democratic nominee for the presidency, she’s all but guaranteed.

What’s more, there’s a dirty little secret the Republicans eventually have to face publicly: The wife of former Rep. Mike Rodgers (R-Mich.), who helmed one of the earlier investigations into the 2012 attack, and her company, Aegis Security Consulting, apparently had the contract with the State Department. Aegis hired Blue Mountain Group, really just two guys, who then hired the security team in the Benghazi annex. To be hired, Blue Mountain only asked if applicants had a criminal record — no proper vetting was done. This security team started the attack from the inside. This also happened after Turkey’s ambassador came and left the annex. It’s not necessarily a connection, just a curious point of interest. Americans were the target, not the Turkish.

There is no criminally chargeable knockout punch for the Benghazi Select Committee — there is only a potential for political damage to Clinton, her aides and the State Department. She just needs to not get indicted by the Obama Department of Justice under Attorney General Loretta Lynch. 

It’s a different story when it comes to Clinton’s email server and classified information, however. 

It doesn’t matter what the header of the email is or what is stripped away; if the satellite images and other contents are classified, the law is clear. There are many cases of both military and civilian prosecutions. The FBI doesn’t investigate servers, it investigates people and institutions. 

Don’t be distracted by some on the left who try to deflect — the potential for illegal activity with the Clinton Foundation and USAID cannot be ignored. The peddling of influence and selling of access are hallmarks of the opportunistic Clinton machine: both Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

When it comes to the contest for the White House, it’s important to focus on what the candidates are talking about as they circle the ring — and what they’re avoiding.

The CNBC debate this week in Boulder, Colo., will focus on job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy. Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood are very capable moderators, and Larry Kudlow, CNBC senior contributor and founding member of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, is involved in preparing the debate questions. He’s a champion of supply-side economics; expect his influence in a take-no-prisoners approach. It will be difficult for candidates to bamboozle on economic facts. 

No Republican candidate has put forth a “champion of the middle class” plan. They are not talking about an oversupply of labor by legal immigrants and illegal aliens, which results in wage suppression of lower economic wage earners. Where is the proposal that incorporates tax reform for corporations, individuals and regulatory reform? Where is the obvious and needed pushback to the Democrats who promise to give people everything but never can justify how they will pay for it in the long term? And who are the unselfish GOP candidates who have no viable path to the nomination who will withdraw and begin to actually work at electing a Republican president in 2016? 

What are the Democratic candidates avoiding? It doesn’t matter. Clinton will be the nominee. 

This isn’t the Golden Gloves, with multiple trophies — this is championship political prizefighting, and there is no second place.  

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in New York City and is a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.