Sorry, GOP, it didn’t work. The Benghazi hearings did not serve to deter Hillary Clinton from running for President in 2016.
The outgoing Secretary of State, who is one of the most popular politicians in America, told the Associated Press in an exclusive interview, “You have to have a thick skin because (politics) is just going to be a contact sport as far as we can look into the future.” The AP wrote that while the Benghazi attack was the low point for her time as Secretary of State, “the furor over the assault would not affect whether she runs for president in 2016.”
Clinton expounded on the way the Republicans refused to accept facts in the Benghazi hearings to the AP:
“I was so unhappy with the way that some people refused to accept the facts (regarding Benghazi), refused to accept the findings of an independent Accountability Review Board, politicized everything about this terrible attack. My job is to admit that we have to make improvements and we’re going to.
There are some people in politics and in the press who can’t be confused by the facts. They just will not live in an evidence-based world. And that’s regrettable. It’s regrettable for our political system and for the people who serve our government in very dangerous, difficult circumstances.”
Refusing to accept facts (aka, defeat) is what the Republican Party is known for, from climate denying to legitimate rape to falling for their own faked polls. The absurd Benghazi hearings were just another failed effort of a dying party to obstruct and smear the winning party.
Instead of using the hearings to actually learn new information, Republicans used the hearings to pontificate on television about things they knew little about. Those filled with the most hot air should have been embarrassed when the public was reminded that they skipped the Benghazi briefings, which may explain their stumbling attempts to come to grips with reality. Hillary made fast fools of her partisan interrogators, or rather, they made fools of themselves and she made no move to rescue them.
Clinton used the hearings to remind Republicans that it was their own party that obstructed aid to Libya, “… I will also tell you that since March 2011 congressional holds have been placed for many months for aid to Libya… Currently, the House has holds on bilateral security assistance, on other kinds of support, for anti-terrorism assistance.”
The good news is that Republican efforts to destroy Hillary Clinton preemptively for 2016 may indicate that they have finally accepted the legitimacy of real polls, which show Clinton with a strong advantage, even possibly taking Texas.
PPP’s newest Texas poll finds that, at least for now, Hillary Clinton could win the state in 2016. This follows on the heels of a survey last month where we found she would have a decent chance of winning Kentucky if she makes another White House bid.
The bad news is that while Republicans are able to concede to reality in order to destroy the opposition, they seem less willing to use the same information to reform their own party so as to address the actual reasons why they can’t win a national election. Republicans remain the party of Tonya Hardings, knee-capping the opposition because they can’t win on their own merits.
While Ms. Clinton avoided saying whether or not she’ll run in 2016 in this interview published on her last day of office in a non-political position, it should be noted that President Obama helped Ms. Clinton wipe out her 2008 campaign debt and gave a joint interview to 60 Minutes from which a Clinton campaign manager would find a plethora of perfect presidential quotes for a campaign ad.
Game on, GOP.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.