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Heyl: Things could look fuzzy for Hillary after her alignment with Comcast

| Thursday, June 4, 2015, 10:42 p.m.
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Inaugural Barbara Jordan Gold Medallion at Texas Southern University on June 4, 2015 in Houston.
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Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Inaugural Barbara Jordan Gold Medallion at Texas Southern University on June 4, 2015 in Houston.

Hillary Clinton's commitment to cable could cost her dearly.

Clinton capturing the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is considered by many to be as inevitable as Kim Jong Un's victory in last year's North Korean presidential election. (Kim won a half-decent 100 percent of the vote, a landslide likely attributable to voters facing certain execution if caught casting ballots for anyone else.)

But Clinton's pursuit of campaign cash potentially could jeopardize her chances of capturing the nomination and the White House. She is about to align herself with an entity perhaps more reviled in this country than ISIS, Ebola or even Donald Trump.

Clinton is at risk of being identified as Comcast's candidate.

David L. Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president and former Gov. Ed Rendell's onetime chief of staff, will host a fundraiser for Clinton on June 26, according to Politico. Cohen likely will rake in considerable Comcast contributions for Clinton; he's a bigger rainmaker than the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Clinton is so far in front of her Democratic opponents in the polls that they can't see her without the aid of the Hubble Space Telescope. Some of that interstellar distance might be made up if they consistently can link her to Comcast.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders might ask if Clinton intends to provide Comcast-level customer service to America. The American Customer Satisfaction Index released Tuesday had Comcast again ranked among the worst-rated of all domestic brands and services.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley might wonder whether Clinton can be as successful getting her agenda through Congress as Comcast recently was in its attempted merger with Time-Warner Cable. Despite spending $17 million a year on lobbyists, Comcast couldn't consummate a deal that would have enabled it to become even more unresponsive to consumers.

Wait — is it possible to become more unresponsive than a corpse?

If Clinton survives such assaults and is nominated, she will have to perform well in Pennsylvania to win the presidency. Quinnipiac University consistently surveys Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida residents in its Swing State Poll.

What makes these states critical?

“It's pretty simple,” said Peter A. Brown, the poll's assistant director. “Each of them has a lot of electoral votes. And since 1960, no president has been elected without winning two of the three states.”

In pursuing Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, it wouldn't be surprising for Clinton's Republican opponent to tie her to Comcast, a company that offered $45 billion for Time-Warner yet somehow can't afford to pay for its own skyscrapers.

You might recall that Pennsylvania taxpayers kicked in $30 million last year toward Comcast's new Philadelphia headquarters. They contributed $43 million in 2005 toward construction of the company's current Philly headquarters, in a deal Cohen helped broker with the Rendell administration three years after leaving it.

The Comcast connection could prove to be calamitous for Clinton.

She'd be much better off going with FIOS or a dish.

Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or eheyl@tribweb.com.

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