Media pretty excited that George H.W. Bush maybe kinda sorta might be voting for Hillary

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Tuesday September 20th, 2016

If you'll take the word of a Kennedy.

Media logic at its finest:

Trump campaign says Trump believes Obama was born in the U.S.: It doesn't mean anything until Trump himself says it!

Former McClatchy D.C. bureau chief Jim Asher says Sid Blumenthal pitched the birther story to him in 2008: Oh really? Why should we believe him?

Member of the Kennedy family says George H.W. Bush plans to vote for Hillary, although H.W. himself has said nothing: THIS IS HAPPENING, PEOPLE!

It comes down to who they trust, and if you can't figure out the pattern there, you're not really paying attention. Of course, it also comes down to which unconfirmed notion feeds the narrative, and this one definitely does:

Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party's presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys.

Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

On Monday, Townsend posted a picture on her Facebook page shaking hands next to the former president and this caption: "The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”

I'm not saying it's impossible that this is happening. I know a lot of the Bush crew has got it in their heads that Trump is so beyond-the-pale awful that the nation is better off with the experienced-if-totally-corrupt Hillary. They don't all feel that way, but some do and it's certainly possible that H.W. is one of them. Trump's disses of low-energy Jeb might be a factor too.

But I think it's worth noting two things:

First, they really don't care how well-sourced a story is, assuming it serves their narrative. But when a story doesn't serve their narrative, it's next to impossible for a source to pass muster.

Second, I can't remember the last time the opinion of George H.W. Bush about anything was treated as an affirmation of that position in their eyes. Can you? That only happens when it's a man-bites-dog, or Republican-backs-Democrat scenario. Let H.W. defend the Iraq War or Dick Cheney, and his opinion quickly goes back to not mattering at all.

Obviously, the media's gambit here is that you'll believe a) H.W. is really voting for Hillary, even though he hasn't said so; and b) that this is a reason you should be persuaded to do that same. I seriously doubt the latter will happen. However good a man George H.W. Bush may be, he hasn't been president for 24 years and his time is past. It's hard for the political class to stomach this, but their pronounced-from-on-high endorsements of candidates don't persuade much of anyone. People make up their own minds. And if someone can see that Hillary is a corrupt liar, yet preferred by the political class, that only indicts the political class.

If it's really true that H.W. is voting for Hillary, the result of that will be one vote in a state she isn't going to win. And none anywhere else.

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