In yesterday’s post (February 21) I wrote regarding the pending 2016 US presidential election. In it, I indicated that skeletons in Hillary Clinton’s closet would be publicized and exploited by GOP candidates if Hillary Clinton chooses to run for the Democratic nomination for President. In that post, I wrote: “You can be sure the GOP’s opposition research teams are already pouring over all these links.” [Regarding Edward Klein’s biography/expose book re: Hillary Clinton, Whitewater, Vince Foster’s  suspicious “suicide,” the activities at Mena airport and deaths that came to be known as “Arkancides”.]  I did not expect to have my statement validated so quickly.

Today (February 22), I read in my Sunday newspaper that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has hired a top “opposition research” investigator to join his campaign team. It was in a short listing of political topics covered in a column called “On Politics” by Catalina Camia in the USA Today insert in my local newspaper, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader. The first link includes that column, but notice that the Internet version includes header language over the Jeb Bush “opposition research” article that says: “This post has been updated.” In other words, its original language has been changed. The Internet’s electronic version omitted what I thought was the most important phrase in the print version of the story…which I will give to you below. Besides the first link, I’ve included three other links below from various media perspectives on this story for your review.

What is reported in common in the various links is that Jeb Bush’s campaign has hired a man named Tim Miller, who is an expert in “opposition research” (i.e. digging up and documenting “dirt” on opposition candidates). One link credits Mr. Miller with finding negative material regarding the 2014 Iowa Democratic senatorial candidate which helped the GOP win that race. He is evidently very good at his trade, and formerly served the previous presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain and John Huntsman. Mr. Miller seems to have impeccable credentials as a member of the GOP insider elites.

The phrase in the print version of Ms. Camia’s story about Jeb Bush and Tim Miller that did not appear in the electronic version that I saw on my computer’s screen is that Mr. Miller “…has spent the last couple of years digging into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s background (emphasis added)…” Hmm. That phrase speaks volumes to me. If he has spent two years or more digging into Hillary Clinton’s past to find “dirt” that would help thwart her presidential aspirations, I doubt that he did this “pro bono” (for free). I wondered whether a GOP PAC paid for his efforts or did an anonymous donor/supporter of Jeb Bush pay for his investigative efforts? If the latter is true (which seems likely as Mr. Miller is now working for the Bush campaign), then Jeb Bush has been very seriously planning on running for the presidency for some time, and he wanted to be sure that there was enough “bad stuff” about Hillary Clinton to defeat her. It also leads me to an important conclusion. In reading the links below that do not include the deleted media phrase cited above, one could get the impression that Mr. Miller has just been hired to begin his “opposition research” efforts. If the deleted phrase is true that Mr. Miller has already been doing this work for years, then it leads me to believe that (A) he has already largely concluded his “opposition research” efforts, (B) Jeb Bush and his backers have already read everything he dug up about Hillary Clinton and (C) they have concluded that they have in hand enough negatives about Hillary Clinton to ensure that she can be defeated when that negative information is publicized to American voters in what will surely be mega-million dollar ad campaigns when the 2016 campaign formally begins. Whatever you think of Jeb Bush, he comes from a very smart political family with very smart political advisers. I doubt Jeb Bush would run for the presidency unless he had sufficient negative information about Hillary Clinton to defeat her in a presidential race. Obviously, the best way to use the most damaging information found by Mr. Miller would be to release it to the American voters soon after Ms. Clinton was formally nominated by the Democrats.

If Mr. Miller has spent years digging into Hillary Clinton’s past, I’d bet that he knows far more about the aforementioned negative stories from Arkansas about the Clintons than can be found in any public Internet link. Indeed, he may already have had private interviews with many people who know information about the above scandals and/or topics and Mr. Miller may have sworn statements and affidavits from those people already in his confidential file to be used in 2016 if Ms. Clinton runs in a presidential campaign. You can be sure that the Clintons’ political strategists know all the above. In leaking it to the press that Jeb Bush has an investigator on his staff who has already dug extensively into Hillary Clinton’s past, I’ll bet the Bush campaign is hoping that Hillary Clinton knows what Mr. Miller has found and documented and that she will decide not to run. If she decides not to run, then I think the unspoken quid pro quo is that what Mr. Miller (and the Jeb Bush campaign team) has learned about Hillary Clinton’s past will never see the light of day.