Benghazi is Hillary Clinton’s most important weakness, no matter whom she faces in the 2016 presidential election. Among Republican contenders, only Chris Christie can claim it as a strength. That’s because of his performance during Superstorm Sandy. Whatever his mistakes–i.e. heaping praise on Obama and backing a pork-laden relief bill–his performance was a sharp contrast to Clinton’s dereliction of duty during Benghazi.
No other GOP prospect has faced a similar crisis, except Bobby Jindal–and he has been something of a flop thus far on the national stage, even though his record in Louisiana has been quite special. And Christie needs that Benghazi/Sandy contrast, because he can’t run on much else. His economic record is weak. He took the Obamacare money. He’s soft on immigration, corruption and terrorism. He has no foreign policy experience.
The Republican establishment is rapidly consolidating around Christie as the 2016 favorite. That could mean Benghazi becomes a more urgent priority for the House GOP leadership than it has been until now. Democrats will charge (as they have all along) that the real motive is political. And it is a shame that politics might be the only way to spur a closer investigation, after Democrats’ stonewalling. But that’s better than no inquiry at all.