January 24 2013
“In her Capitol Hill swan song, Hillary Clinton shines,” says a headline on Suzi Parker’s “She the People” post over at the Washington Post. Would that shining be when the secretary of state erupted angrily under questioning from Senator Ron Johnson and said this:
With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
What difference does it at this point make? We need to know why those four Americans died and if the administration purposely lied to the American people because the truth didn’t fit in with an election year narrative. “At this point” is a particularly nice touch given the administration's stonewalling on the four-month old terrorist attack.
I have to hand it to Senator Johnson for saying this (as quoted on Buzzfeed):
"I think she just decided before she was going to describe emotionally the four dead Americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions," he said. "It was a good way of getting out of really having to respond to me."
With a few exceptions, however, Mrs. Clinton’s questioners delivered speeches rather than getting information. They should learn the art of the brief, one sentence question. Colonel Ralph Peterson pointed out on Fox last night some of the questions that went unasked: Was there an autopsy on Ambassador Stevens? Were you offered an opportunity to answer questions about Benghazi on Sunday morning television shows before Ambassador Susan Rice was sent instead?
Mrs. Clinton has her own future to think about and, while Benghazi could have had an impact on that (my guess is that she stonewalled just long enough to blunt any effect it might have had), it is President Obama who really matters. James Taranto makes an interesting observation on this:
As we watched this exchange, it occurred to us that Mrs. Clinton was back in a familiar role, and an ironic one for someone who is supposed to be a feminist icon. Once again, she was helping the most powerful man in the world dodge accountability for scandalous behavior.