AUTHENTIC, COOL, that was Hillary Clinton in front of the Benghazi committee. Republicans did their worst, trying to find a way to get to her, but their anger clouded everything they did. It gave the day to Clinton, which Rep. Trey Gowdy admitted when he said the hearing didn’t yield anything new.
I never thought I’d ever be privy to Sidney Blumenthal being fetishized in a conversation. The cartoon caricature above is of Blumenthal, in honor of this moment. I should have kept all the innocuous emails with links and stories I’ve received (as has so many others) from him. They’re collectors’ items now.
My favorite moment, verbatim transcript via Politico:
“Were you alone?” Roby asked.
“I was alone, yes,” Clinton said.
Roby pressed: “The whole night?”
“Well yes, the whole night,” Clinton said…
And then Hillary’s unbridled laughter crackled through the quiet room. It was wonderful and as you see below, Stephen Hayes is among the conservatives who caught how badly the questions played.
Clinton’s opening statement included a history lesson on the attacks American diplomats and foreign service workers, as well as what Ronald Reagan faced in Lebanon. Later she also fixed the Republican are her enemies line by noting one by one all of the times she worked across the aisle to make progress for the American people. Saying that there was a time when everyone worked together on foreign policy issues, bemoaning the toxic atmosphere between people who are supposed to run the country for the rest of us.
Many conservatives aren’t happy with the outcome and for good reasons.
Clinton’s stamina, her authenticity, her preparedness, this is the type of performance she needs if she wants to prevail and win the nomination and the general election. This was the type of tour de force presentation that can change minds.
Not even during her coughing fit at the very end, when her questioners finally unloaded their email questions, did Clinton’s attention or purpose falter.
Chuck Todd asked at one point what Republican has the stamina to go head to head with Clinton in a debate. It’s a question many of them can’t answer right now.
An excerpt from Clinton’s opening statement
…I am here to honor the service of those four men, the courage of the Diplomatic Security agency and the CIA officers who risked their lives that night, and the work their colleagues do every single day all over the world.
I knew and admired Chris Stevens. He was one of our nation’s most accomplished diplomats. Chris’s mother liked to say that he had sand in his shoes, because he was always moving, always working, especially in the Middle East that he came to know so well.
When the revolution broke out in Libya, we named Chris as our envoy to the opposition. There was no easy way to get him into Benghazi to begin gathering information and meeting those Libyans who were rising up against the murderous the dictator Qadhafi, but he found a way to get himself there on a Greek cargo ship, just like a 19th century American envoy. But his work was very much 21st century hard-nosed diplomacy.
It is a testament to the relationships that he built in Libya that on the day following the awareness of his death, tens of thousands of Libyans poured into the streets in Benghazi. They held signs reading “thugs don’t represent Benghazi or Islam.” “Sorry people of America, this is not the behavior of our Islam or our Prophet.” “Chris Stevens, a friend to all Libyans.” […]
Clinton goes on to talk about Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, men who were killed trying to save Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Every campaign experiences a near death moment, which for Clinton was her handling of the private server/email revelations, and it’s pretty clear Hillary Clinton’s intention is to leave it far behind.
Why doesn't Pompeo just go over and swear her in for president now–if he goes on like this he'll practically get her elected
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) October 22, 2015
Unless something happens, it's starting to look like Hillary Clinton won't merely survive this hearing — she will have come out on top.
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) October 22, 2015
The Benghazi Hearing Should Not Be, But Is, A Waste of Time https://t.co/bpwD77YW7z
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 22, 2015
Westmoreland now probing whether it was "weird" that Cheryl Mills was HRC lawyer and chief of staff. It's not. #weirdtoaskherthat
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) October 23, 2015