Democratic presidential race: Hillary Clinton campaign struggles to keep policy in the spotlight in wake of email row

Her policy proposals like opposing a new oil pipeline from Canada and limiting medical prescription costs have been overshadowed by an FBI investigation and a surge for Joe Biden in the polls

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The Independent US

Declining to be distracted by the racket around her past email arrangements or Vice-President Joe Biden possibly taking her on, Hillary Clinton is popping out policy proposals like peas from a pod. The latest: opposing a new oil pipeline from Canada and limiting medical prescription costs.

Yet the interference doesn’t stop. Mr Biden, who must decide very soon if he will enter the race for the 2016 Democratic nomination, scored a remarkable 25 per cent support in a Bloomberg Politics poll, a mere eight points behind Mrs Clinton at 33 per cent.

Meanwhile it was reported that FBI agents investigating whether national security may have been harmed by Mrs Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was Secretary of State have managed to retrieve thousands of emails from it that she said had been deleted.

The revelation, first reported by Bloomberg News, underlines the extent to which the investigation is now out of Mrs Clinton’s hands. It seems likely also now that it will not be over in time for 1 February next year, when state-by-state primary voting for the Democratic nominee begins.

Earlier this year, Mrs Clinton said she had handed over some 30,000 emails from her server for review but that an additional 30,000 emails she deemed personal had been wiped, covering subjects such as wedding arrangements for her daughter Chelsea. Now the prospect arises that some of those emails, now under an FBI microscope, could be leaked.

Mrs Clinton has little choice but to plough on. She had been under pressure for weeks to take a stand on the so-called XL Pipeline, which would convey unrefined oil from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Opposing its construction is a litmus test for the environmental wing of the party.


Her pledge made on Tuesday to set a $250-a-month ceiling on out-of-pocket costs for patients buying prescription drugs was also meant to resonate with grassroots voters who are enraged by the high costs of medicines. Popular frustration was kindled further this week by news that one company had raised the price of an anti-parasites pill from $13.30 (£8.70) to $750 (£490) overnight.

“People are being asked to pay not just hundreds but thousands of dollars for a single pill,” Mrs Clinton said. “That is not the way a market is supposed to work. That is bad actors making a fortune off of people’s misfortune.”