The biggest issue that Hillary Clinton has always had is "likability." But after 11 hours of grilling -- and her holding
up with quiet calm -- the GOP may have remarkably just changed that. (Not for partisans who purely hate her, of course, and no doubt continue to, but for most others who are in the middle, undecided, who don't even know much of what "Benghazi" hearings are all about.) But the pure image of a mature, thoughtful, woman being yelled at by angry men for almost half the day and never rising to the bait, while never getting flustered and patiently responding to every slam can only create a deeply positive reaction.
A friend commented that watching Mrs. Clinton testify so calmly and intelligently, the thought occurred to him that he would feel really comfortable with her being president. Again, I'm sure that not everyone felt that way -- but they were never going to, whatever she said.
The thought that occurred to me while watching former-Secretary Clinton testifying for 11 hours was -- what if If was Donald Trump up there?? I almost can't even imagine it. I mean, he couldn't handle Megyn Kelly asking him one pointed, but polite question, and got nasty petulant for a week. Then again, imagine most any of the leading GOP candidates if they had had to testify for 11 hours and be grilled by congressmen trying to shred them. Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, even Marco Rubio, or Jeb! Bush.
Every time a Republican representative on the committee asked what they believed was a blistering question, I was really hoping that Hillary Clinton would pause a moment and then say -- every single time -- "You do realize, Congressman, that Republicans cut $300 million out of President Obama's budget for U.S. embassy security funding?"
How tough was it today for the GOP? If you needed any evidence how well Hillary Clinton did, just know that "Fox News" cut away from the hearings about halfway through. And the Drudge Report was at such a loss to find something critical to write that the best they could do was to tweet -- and I swear this is true -- no, wait, I'll embed the tweet, because even saying you must believe me, some of you still probably wouldn't --
I saw a lot of people responding to this with logical arguments, and I just shook my head. I mean, seriously, how to do you argue with someone who wrote that by using a logical argument. Instead, I replied -- "It's ace medical diagnosis like this that's why I go to @DRUDGE for all my health advice. That and the free suckers."
Sometimes, overflowing ridicule and dripping sarcasm is the only way to fly.
By the way, after the hearing was over, another campaign-related news story made its way through the morass. And it was near-impossible to not just stare in wonderment at the depth the circus could go. On the same day that Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours against angry grilling, Donald Trump deleted a really bad tweet he’d written and blamed it on a non-existent intern. Giving his campaign a new slogan, I guess, that the Buck Stops There.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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