By Ashley Intartaglia
On Thursday, Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi was nothing short of political theater at its finest. I often say that I don’t understand why more people don’t follow politics and current events. To me it’s the best reality television out there, and the Benghazi hearing gave the gift of more than eleven hours of fuel for our political fires.
It’s debatable as to whether the public got anything new or relevant out of the hearing. Some will say the most damning evidence was a documented exchange between former Secretary of State Clinton and the Egyptian Prime Minister and her family the day after the attack. In that exchange she told both that the attack on the U.S. Embassy was in fact an Al-Queda terrorist attack, and not a protest turned violent, sparked by an anti-Muslim video. At the conclusion of that particular round of scrutiny, Hillary had yet to break a sweat, which was more than we could say for Rep. Trey Gowdy, and the committee was no closer to a solid answer on the matter than they were at 9:59 a.m. that morning.
What should be noted, analyzed, and studied from the former Secretary of State’s marathon interrogation… is Hillary Clinton herself.
As a conservative, it pains me to admit that Hillary Clinton was impressive during the hearing. But when one can sit on top of a blazing bonfire, surrounded by starving lions licking their chops, and never flinch, I’ll give credit where credit is due no matter what party one subscribes to.
Hillary Clinton walked into the room with an air of confidence so thick it could have choked an elephant. She carried herself well, and her appearance was flawless from her hair and makeup, to the tailored black power suit she wore. She was calm, cool, collected, and never raised her voice, in stark contrast to those questioning her. And Hillary Clinton’s opening statement to the committee…a master class speech that was well written, and well performed. Not only did she set the tone by showing she was prepared, but she caught all of us off guard with a flash of feeling and empathy she has rarely shown in more than 25 years in the public fishbowl.
What this hearing boils down to is a display of substance versus style. In terms of substance and whether or not we’re any closer to finding out what really happened on September 11, 2012, I believe Rep. Adam Schiff summed it up when he said “There will be nothing final about this report”. In terms of style, the major takeaway from Hillary Clinton’s more than eleven hours of testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi is this:
If Hillary Clinton can bring to her campaign what she brought to this hearing, Republicans should be very concerned. For the first time since announcing her bid for 2016, love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton looked Presidential. Further, if the team that prepped her for this hearing is different from the team that preps her for campaign appearances, I would implore her to fire the latter and roll forward.
If anyone had any doubts about whether or not the 2016 Presidential campaign would be a fight to the finish, I suggest reviewing the tapes from Thursday. It will be.