And the questions they asked. Rep. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.) set the tone with his very first question which partly was: “There were senior voices within the White House that were opposed to military action—Vice President Biden, Department of Defense, Secretary Gates, the National Security Council, and so forth. But you persuaded President Obama to intervene militarily. Isn't that right?" When Mrs. Clinton responded that many allies were pressuring the U.S. to take action Mr. Roskam, in trying to drive home the nail that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mrs. Clinton was, indeed, the secretary of state at the time, said “I think you are underselling yourself."
The fact was that the international community was concerned that Qahdafi would, without intervention, kill more of his own people and that Republicans with the stature of John McCain and Marco Rubio agreed.
Much later in the hearing, after multiple hours of sitting there listening to speeches and answering questions another GOP congressman asked if, when Mrs. Clinton went home the night of the attack, she was “alone all night.” To which Mrs. Clinton laughed and the Congressman, in all seriousness, said, “Do you think this is funny?” To which Mrs. Clinton responded at that late hour to be asked if she spent the entire night alone, was a moment of levity. And it was. Give me a break, people. You want to damage Mrs. Clinton’s campaign? This was not the way to do it.
All you proved is that you make the Keystone Kops look like Elliot Ness.
The Republican lawmakers also proved their lack of ability to understand a management process when they wondered why the 200-plus U.S. ambassadors around the world didn’t each have direct access to the secretary of state. “Mrs. Clinton, Ambassador Jones is on 2, Ambassador Smith on 3, Ambassador Doe is one 4 and we have 100 other ambassadors on hold or waiting a call back.” Yeah, that’s how to manage an organization with worldwide responsibility. Who needs a chain of command?
I will bet, though, that a few of those congressmen went home and were proud of their behavior and their questions. Bottom line? Mrs. Clinton wound up with the best week of her campaign. Biden dropped out. She’s pulling ahead in the polls and the GOP congressmen called her on the carpet, which can only accrue to her benefit any time they do it. She is strong. She is smart. She is good on her feet. So, why call her to a hearing that will only feature her at her best unless you, like any good lawyer, know the answers to the questions before you ask them and then ask only questions you know will elicit an answer to your benefit not your witness’?
And to focus much of the hearing on Sydney Blumenthal, known by insiders as a voice of unreason and kind of a pain in the butt, I mean…what did you hope to gain with that?? Inside baseball, at best. Even if you won that point, who cares?
So, score the hearing and the week for Hillary. An untrustworthy person who, thanks to that hearing, looks more trustworthy, not less.
Another result of the week and the hearing? This morning, Lincoln Chaffee dropped out of the Democratic contest. He should have gotten himself called on the GOP Congressional carpet. Coulda saved his campaign.