To be honest, Hillary Clinton's email scandal is nowhere as sexy or lurid as, say, Bill Clinton's "bimbo eruptions" (the term was coined by one of his handlers) or Anthony Weiner's sad, sad Twitter compulsion.
But the email scandal does threaten Mrs. Clinton's run for the presidency and, probably more importantly, the odds that she'll be effective when (yes, when) she is elected president. She may have skated on any sort of criminal or super-cereal charges from the Department of Justice (DOJ), but even she admits that it was poor judgment to route all her correspondence through a personal server while in the Obama administration. Worse still, supposedly deleted emails keep showing up, including ones on such hot-button issues as Benghazi. This is one of the reasons that even as he recommended that the DOJ shouldn't pursue serious charges against her, FBI Director James Comey said what she did was pretty goddamn sketchy (and that he reserved the right to bust lesser mortals who did exactly the same thing she did).
It gets worse: The New York Post is reporting that Clinton used her personal server to send classified material in 2013, "months after stepping down as secretary of state."
The email, which was obtained by the Republican National Committee through a Freedom of Information Act request, was heavily redacted upon its release by the State Department because it contains classified information.
The markings on the email state it will be declassified on May 28, 2033, and that information in the note is being redacted because it contains "information regarding foreign governors" and because it contains "Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources."
The email from Clinton was sent from the email account — email@example.com — associated with her private email server.
I've uploaded an image of the email elsewhere on this post. And yes, I've sent an email to the address above, asking if it was still in use and whether I could get something classified as a keepsake.
The reality of the personal email server strikes me as one of those things that would flip very few people from pro-Clinton to anti-Clinton in and of itself. Yes, it was stupid, ill-conceived, and poorly executed (which makes it a synecdoche for U.S. foreign policy over the past 15 years, doesn't it?). But Candidate Clinton's growing exasperation with having to either apologize for it or defend it is certainly taking a toll. While she maintains a slight lead over Donald Trump in national polls, there are signs that both major-party candidates are losing support, mostly because voters find them pretty detestable and untrustworthy for different reasons. Trump pretty clearly has no set of core beliefs or policy prescriptions (see: Immigration). Between unseemly activities at the Clinton Family Foundation and a growing set of misstatements about her email server and the material that passed through it, Clinton isn't winning over any new voters.
The result is a hollowing-out of trust and confidence in the two leading candidates for president and in the parties they represent. Whether third-party candidates such as Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green) take advantage of this is an interesting question, but one that is besides the point in many ways. #NeverTrump conservatives are already asking how they can put the Republican Party back together after Donald Trump. Whether she wins or not in November—and the smart money is on her to win—the Democratic Party would do well to start asking a similar question. Fewer and fewer people identify with either major party and fewer and fewer trust either major party. That's not something that will disappear just because Clinton ends up inheriting the office once used by her husband.