It was a day of evasive answers, where Hillary Clinton rolled her eyes, palmed her face, shuffled papers, and rarely made eye contact with those on the committee asking her questions. She did everything but break out in a Nixonian sweat.
Democratic media will be defending her for taking so much time to answer questions in a calm voice, claiming she has put all the issues they have never even covered – private servers, hidden emails, donations to her foundation from international entities who were given special favors by the State Department – to bed. But some liberals weren’t so convinced. Politico‘s Jack Shafer tweeted: “I want a bust of Hillary Clinton with her palm to her cheek, eyes rolling.”
One can imagine a lot of people in blond wigs, orange pantsuits, with a hand glued to their face and novelty shop rolling eye glasses wandering around next week on Halloween.
She was asked three times for whom Mr. Blumenthal worked. Taking a page from Middle East politics of old, she denied him three times, finally just saying “He worked for my husband.”
Of course, he actually worked, on a lucrative salary, for the Clinton Foundation, which is as much her organization as it is her husband’s.
In Mrs. Clinton’s mind, receiving more emails – including those about Benghazi and Libya generally – from Blumenthal than from anyone else, while the Clinton Foundation paid him, does not amount to his being in her employ.
As always with the Clinton’s, it depends on what the meaning of “is” is.
The committee spent a lot of time on Blumenthal’s emails, and that’s mainly what liberal media planning to defend Mrs. Clinton are going to concentrate on. Huffington Post‘s reliably establishment flak Amanda Terkel quoted Democrats on the committee as calling the committee’s work a “taxpayer funded fishing expedition” complaining that the costs of the various committees that have looked at Benghazi have spent over $4 million.
They never compare this to the more than $40 million spent investigating Abu Ghraib for a decade. They never note that the “expedition” caught a fish – that only by investigating Hillary and Benghazi did the American public find out that a leading presidential candidate used a secret, private, unsecured server and private emails to do business, a system that was likely hacked by foreign interests and that may have been used by Mrs. Clinton to cover up selling government favors in exchange for donations to her via her foundation.
It may even be where “Al-Qaeda type terrorists,” as Mrs. Clinton identified those who killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and those trying to protect him to her daughter and various heads of state in her emails – even while she was publicly saying random ad hoc people incited by a video were responsible – learned about Stevens’ whereabouts and itinerary.
Clinton spent most of Thursday answering questions. The general consensus is that the low information Democratic base, especially given the near total media spin in Clinton’s defense, will think she did well and looked presidential – and won’t grasp that the committee spent the morning showing that her emails contradict her public statements in the minutes, hours, and days after Benghazi, and that graphs of State Department expenditures show that though Mrs. Clinton did not increase the security budgets of embassies, the funds Congress sent to the State Department grew significantly every year.
Fox judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out another issue: Mrs. Clinton is speaking to three audiences. First she is answering the Trey Gowdy and the other committee members’ questions. Second, she is speaking before the American public – she demanded that the hearings be televised – where she hopes to look Presidential and open to the Democratic base and any still undecided voters. But third, she is speaking under oath and creating transcripts that the FBI and others investigating her can use to assess her veracity and her intent.
More of her emails are released by the State Department each month through at least January, at the end of each month, another batch in less than 10 days. Will there be a well-preserved blue dress – besides the inconsistencies, the lack of transparency, the lies, the grifting of her Foundation – among them?
In this week’s Rose Garden announcement by Joe Biden, the Vice President did not endorse Mrs. Clinton, and he seemed to take a swipe at her when he denounced divisive people who can’t work with people from other political parties. So though he announced he’s not running, he’s perfectly positioned to rescue his party should Mrs. Clinton find her investigation deepening or herself under indictment.