Putin Can Rescue Hillary From Email Scandal – OpEd

Putin should offer Hillary Clinton political asylum. It would certainly boost his international popularity.

He could really save her neck.

  • She’s facing the intense scrutiny of an FBI investigation now underway.
  • The issue is her alleged misuse of government emails and possible exposure of national security information.
  • This is serious business. It could lead to a nasty criminal prosecution and possibly the misery of jail time.
  • What a humiliating prospect for someone of her stature! The criminal threat is highly politicized. It’s hard to say which way the case might go. It could turn on a dime. A political dime.

Putin could readily rescue Hillary from all that by offering asylum. He gave shelter to Snowdon over a different security scandal. Why not Hillary now?

But how’s that going to boost Putin’s popularity in the West?

Putin would come to be seen as a hero — no matter which side of the Clinton scandal any American might favor.

Those with low opinions of Clinton would be really glad to see her go. Really glad. And her considerable number of protective supporters would be relieved that she wouldn’t have to face the jeopardy that the FBI investigation portends.

Putin couldn’t lose.

There’s one hitch, though. Hillary and Putin haven’t exactly been friends.

In early 2014 she compared Putin’s alleged activity in Ukraine to “actions taken by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler outside Germany in the run-up to World War II,” according to the Washington Post.

That must have smarted.

Putin shot back: “Ms. Clinton has never been too subtle in her statements,” suggesting her strong invective was a sign of her own weakness.

But there’s more. Last February a group of Clintonites issued a report titled “Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do.”

It commends a new strategy to Obama and Congress: They should send $2 billion to Ukraine over the next two fiscal years to upgrade military defense capabilities right up against Russia’s border.

Even if Putin tried hard, I don’t think he’d find a constructive angle to that one.

It’s puzzling how Hillary’s cronies could have dreamt their strategy could help.

  • Ukraine is virtually a bankrupt nation, one plagued by powerful private militias operating outside of government control with agendas of their own.
  • The idea of giving that political-disaster-of-a-state $2 billion for equipping it to stand up to Russia and its nuclear might can’t make sense to any sober person. Can it?
  • Ukraine is internationally rated as being very corrupt, on par with Uganda. Who knows where the money would end up?

How could the Clintonites seriously put forth that strategy? The most flattering explanation I can think of is that they were stone drunk when they wrote their report. Otherwise it seems like sheer fanatical nonsense.

Nonetheless, Putin clearly remains in an international reputational rut.

The latest Gallup poll of Americans places Putin’s unfavorability rating at a high of 63 percent. I predict if Clinton is given political asylum, Putin’s unfavorability in America will drop so much that it will be less than Obama’s.

That’s not saying much, however. Gallup’s recent word on Obama placed his unfavorability at 52 percent. There aren’t many more Americans thinking unfavorably toward Putin than toward Obama.

Potentially Putin could close that gap and really outshine Obama. Back in 2002 Putin’s unfavorability with Americans was way down to 18 percent. Obama’s best score, ironically 18 percent, too, was immediately before he even became president.

It’s quite a coincidence that they share the number 18 as their lowest unfavorability record. Could this commonality be a springboard for a more rational and productive relationship? I recommend they meet jointly with an expert numerologist to seek insight into this.

Putin’s lowest unfavorability point came right after 9/11. He had been the first world leader to call Washington with condolences and an offer of cooperation. Americans greatly appreciated the gesture. That showed itself in the Gallup poll.

I’m sure a magnanimous gesture of asylum for Hillary would be much appreciated as well.

But Hillary’s pride might stand in the way of all this. What if she’s in denial of the jeopardy she’s truly in? That could be a barrier to this scheme to boost Putin’s popularity in the West.

He may have to use a carrot to attract her to his asylum offer.

Unlikely as this may sound, a means for doing that may already have been articulated by a late archenemy of Putin’s. That’s Boris Berezovsky I’m talking about.

While he was hiding-out in London from criminal prosecution back home, he expressed his vision for Russia’s future. Berezovsky wanted to institute a monarchy in Russia. This is no joke. It’s a plan he really put forth publically.

I think that’s an idea whose time has come: Offer Hillary Russian royalty status along with political asylum.

Putin would probably have to grant her Russian citizenship, too. A precedent has already been set with actor Gerard Depardieu when he wanted out of France for his own reasons.

Bill Clinton could be included in this royalty deal, too.

The new Russian monarchs wouldn’t have to have any real authority or responsibility. They wouldn’t be in a position to cause harm.

Some say that deep down Hillary really doesn’t want the headache of the American presidency, anyway. Creating the historic legacy of being the first married pair to be president is what’s really driving her, they speculate.

But if instead of going to the White House she perceives herself at risk of going to jail, she might be willing to trade her presidential ambition for a royal Russian outcome. That would surely create a notable legacy.

So, some day when you least expect it, Russian president Vladimir Putin might be heard announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you Bill and Hillary Clinton, the new King and Queen of all Russia.”

Applause!


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William Dunkerley

William Dunkerley

William Dunkerley is a media business analyst and consultant based in New Britain, Connecticut, USA. He works extensively with media organizations in Russia and other post-communist countries, and has advised government leaders on strategies for building press freedom and a healthy media sector. He is a Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow.

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