I’m sure most of you don’t consider watching an unnecessary and lengthy congressional hearing your idea of a good time. Sadly, I do, as I tuned in to watch parts of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s testimony on Oct. 22, which pertained to the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
For those unfamiliar with what happened three years ago, militants attacked an American diplomatic compound on Sept. 11, 2012, causing the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, as well as three other Americans. Stevens was the first American ambassador to die in office since 1979, sparking some controversy and allegations that this incident was preventable.
When this happened, Clinton was still the Secretary of State and took responsibility for the lack of security that resulted in the deaths of four Americans. However, for many, this was not enough; Republicans said the State Department “fail[ed] to provide adequate security and equipment to avoid the attacks,” according to The International Business Times.
As a result, two years later, former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner proposed a House Committee be formed to investigate the attacks. The foci of the investigation centered on the security before the attack, the incident of the attack itself, the responses of both Clinton and President Barack Obama, as well as the efforts made after the attack to tighten security for other U.S. compounds.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Clinton used a personal email server and email address to send emails pertaining to her position as Secretary of State rather than using the one with which the State Department supplied her. Clinton claimed that she used a personal email address because she did not want to have to carry another phone set up with the government email address.
Eventually, the House Committee arranged a hearing, at which Clinton was grilled—I mean, she testified—for 11 hours.
Let me repeat that: 11 hours.
When was the last time you did something stressful for 11 hours?
Also, she did so while staying cool and collected, which, let me tell you, I would be utterly incapable of doing that.
She sat through, frankly, heinous lines of questioning and insinuations, such as Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) comment that Obama hesitated to relate the attack to an act of terrorism because “it undercut the political success that Clinton and others claimed in Libya,” according to The Washington Post.
Clinton’s sharp response: “I’m sorry that doesn’t fit your narrative, Congressman. I can only tell you what the facts were.”
After sporadically watching parts of Clinton’s testimony and catching the highlights in the following days, I can tell you that it is really obvious that this 11-hour testimony was no more than a Republican effort to kill Clinton’s political popularity as we come closer to the 2016 presidential election.
Think I’m wrong? Panel Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) spent the vast majority of his opening statement denying allegations that the testimony took place for this very reason.
If Shakespeare was writing a play about this hearing, I believe he would say that the gentleman “dost protest too much, methinks.”
Allow me to add to that. In an interview with Fox News (cue my inward groaning), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) said, “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” adding, “No one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”
Kevin, your partisanship is showing.
At the end of the day, that doesn’t really matter. Clinton walked away from the hearing with her head held high—as she should have. No massive bombshells were dropped, she kept her cool and, frankly, acted with the demeanor that one expects out of someone running for President.