Most Consequential 10 Days in Clinton’s Candidacy: Shallow Theater, Naked Partisanship, Institutionalized Incompetence October 23, 2015 Vol. VIII, No. 16 3:13 pm “If you’re among the growing number of independent voters drifting away from the two parties—you probably don’t care about the [Benghazi] hearing. You know what you missed: shallow theater, naked partisanship, and
Most Consequential 10 Days in Clinton’s Candidacy:
Shallow Theater, Naked Partisanship, Institutionalized Incompetence
October 23, 2015 Vol. VIII, No. 16 3:13 pm
“If you’re among the growing number of independent voters drifting away from the two parties—you probably don’t care about the [Benghazi] hearing. You know what you missed: shallow theater, naked partisanship, and institutionalized incompetence.” Ron Fournier, National Journal, October 23, 2015
Ten days ago, October 13, 2015, the John Davis Political Report, Clinton Email Controversy Now Fruit of a Poisonous Tree after Republicans Seen Rigging Hearings, stated that Hillary Clinton would win the argument on the Benghazi email controversy during the Democratic presidential debate that evening because most voters believed “U.S. House Republicans rigged the Benghazi hearings to weaken Clinton’s campaign for president.”
Sure enough, when the poll results started coming, a large majority of Democrats agreed that Clinton had won on that and every other issue in the CNN/Facebook-sponsored Democratic presidential debate. For example, CNN’s national survey of registered Democrats who watched the Democratic debate revealed that 62% of the respondents believed Hillary Clinton won the debate; 35% said Bernie Sanders.
The perception that the Benghazi committee was a partisan political assault force was solidified on September 29, 2015, when Republican House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy told Fox News host Sean Hannity, “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.” A foolish statement.
Fast forward to October 22, 2015, immediately after Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour grilling by the House Special Committee on Benghazi; another foolish statement by yet another Republican leader. Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Benghazi committee’s chairman, replying to a reporter, stated that he could not name a single important piece of new information his committee had uncovered about the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
A good accounting of the exchange between the reporter and Gowdy was written by Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics, Inquiry Does Little to Trip Clinton's 2016 March.
Key Simendinger Thought: Partisan Aim. “Chairman Trey Gowdy, the Republican inquisitor leading a special House Benghazi panel, had something tougher to swallow. He could not point to anything gleaned by his team that refuted Democrats’ charges that Republicans took aim at the former secretary of state for political reasons.
‘I don’t know that she testified any differently than previous times she testified,’ he blurted out to reporters afterward. The concession by Gowdy -- appearing sweaty and exhausted at 9 p.m. -- that Clinton spent a long day telling Congress what she’d already told Congress underscored the challenge for Republicans. It was also evidence that preparations by her and committee Democrats to paint the drama as partisan had struck a nerve.”
Ten days ago, Hillary Clinton won the first Democratic presidential debate in great part because the Republican-led Benghazi committee had produced nothing that could be used against her by her Democratic opponents. Despite her victory, she still had high unfavorable numbers.
The same CNN’s national survey of registered Democrats who watched the Democratic debate that showed Clinton as the clear winner, also showed that more Americans had an “Unfavorable” opinion of Hillary Clinton (50%) than “Favorable” (46%).
Now, thanks to Republican overreach during the Benghazi investigations and the unproductive 11-hour Select Committee on Benghazi hearing, next week’s polls will show that more Americans have a “Favorable” than “Unfavorable” view of Hillary Clinton.
On October 13, 2015, Hillary Clinton won the CNN/Facebook Democratic debate. On October 22, 2015, Hillary Clinton “won” the Benghazi hearings. Ten consequential days.
Thanks to Republican leaders like Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader, who admitted that the House Select Committee on Benghazi was created to discredit Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi who admitted that his committee had not produced any new information discrediting Hillary Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attack, those ten days have been the most consequential of her candidacy.
The consequences of Republican “shallow theater, naked partisanship, and institutionalized incompetence” are a clear path to the nomination and a growing consensus that Hillary Clinton is a tough, seasoned leader with the strength of character to serve as President of the United States.