Friday, October 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton Stems GOP Benghazi Attackers // Josh Marshall // Talking Points Memo

It is not easy to withstand 11 hours of hostile interrogation. I've been examined for a few hours - with far less at stake - and found myself being too combative.

It is also not easy to sustain mastery of details three, four or more years ago. Hillary Clinton did that yesterday - and no one laid a glove on her about any substantial matter. [Don't tell me the email issue is substantial.]

Marco Rubio - the likely GOP nominee - barely got through a set speech in his counter State of the Union. 

Most votes are tribal. The Democrats will never get the Second Amendmentistas, or the immigrant haters, or the racists. But for those who are reachable Hillary Clinton's steely performance yesterday shows how formidable she is. - gwc
Long Twilight Struggle
by Josh Marshall

I think it wasn't just a no news event and thus by definition good news for Hillary, as Byron put it. I think it was a good deal more.

I don't know how Clinton would be as a public President, with all the mix of engagement, charisma and circumspection that involves. But showing how she might be as a private president, a Situation Room president, I think it was perhaps a transformative performance. When I watched my thought was, Wow, she'd be rock solid. Granular and detailed is seldom spell-binding. But over the course of the endless testimony, anyone who had the slightest sense that Clinton had been some sort of figurehead Secretary of State who left the key work to subordinates would have been thoroughly disabused of that notion.

Clinton's time under questioning sent a number of messages. One was simply the scope of her knowledge and experience that made her questioners look increasingly insipid and small. But there was also a simple toughness and resilience under pressure. She knows her stuff and she's a pro. You could not watch that testimony and not come away with that conclusion. This engagement gave her a live telecast opportunity to demonstrate that fact, which is almost invaluable. It is very difficult to imagine any of the Republican presidential candidates - even the ones serving in the Senate - able to roll with that kind of questioning or show the range of knowledge and clarity that was required to do so. It is difficult to express the difficulty of being questioned for almost half a day and not slipping even once, not even the kind of negligible slip that only has any impact or resonance when repeated and distorted in endless repetition on Fox News.

Seriously, can you imagine Marco Rubio in the same chair under the same sort of questioning? Not to mention Donald Trump or - God forbid - the increasingly Chauncey Gardner-esque Ben Carson?

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