I actually subjected myself to almost all of the 11-hour hearing and in the aftermath I'm still trying to absorb and ponder its implications. At various times it was fascinating, ridiculous, infuriating, boring, annoying, exciting, nauseating, pathetic, and even occasionally funny. But in the end, it was only one thing: Triumphant...for Hillary.
There will be more on this soon, but for now it's time for a victory lap as we celebrate Gowdy's sham reduced to shambles in a special edition of Hillary News & Views.
Jamelle Bouie @ Slate - Hillary Clinton Has Won the Benghazi Hearing:— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) October 23, 2015
The Republicans may have just won Hillary the election. They made her look sympathetic to pretty much everyone not on Gowdy's staff.
You don’t have to like Clinton to see that this is a coup for her campaign. Not only has she bolstered her image as a smart, competent policymaker, but she’s even defused her email controversy—or come close to it—by talking about the issue in a calm, nonadversarial way. Meanwhile, by the fifth hour, committee members like Roskam were hitting Clinton for having a skilled press team.
When this began, conventional wisdom was that Hillary had to survive the scrutiny. That at best, this would be a wash. Toward the end, however, that wisdom changed. “Unless something happens,” wrote conservative columnist Matt Lewis on Twitter, “it’s starting to look like Hillary Clinton won’t merely survive this hearing—she will have come out on top.”
Whether or not Republicans built the Benghazi committee to damage Clinton’s campaign, it’s clear they weren’t opposed to an outcome where Clinton was harmed. Instead, we have the opposite. Thanks to the committee, Clinton might escape a scandal, neutralize an attack, and enter the first major stretch of the presidential race with the wind at her back.
Peter Daou and Tom Watson @ #HillaryMen - Benghazi Bashfest: An Outrageous and Cowardly Spectacle from the GOP:Most Dems like Hillary but a sizeable minority have doubts. That changed tonight. Now almost all will want to be in her corner in a fight.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) October 23, 2015
In Hillary’s case, the higher standard is nearly a superhuman one – she is being made to endure more negativity and surmount greater hurdles than all other candidates combined.
The fact that she survives and thrives is a tribute to her indomitable spirit.
In the big picture, the Benghazi hearing, like the manic obsession with her emails, is yet another challenge in Hillary's American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course of a campaign. No other candidate has ever had to deal with anything remotely like it.
At the hearing, Hillary's dignity, composure, stamina and stature outmatched and outclassed the petty, smarmy gang-up from Republicans whose sole mission was to derail her campaign.
Many metaphorical showers will be required to wash the stench off this deplorable spectacle.
Amanda Terkel @ The Huffington Post - Republicans Fail To Take Down Hillary Clinton After 11-Hour Benghazi Hearing:Don't think Gowdy intended it, but he & his team have this day made a very powerful argument that @HillaryClinton is ready to be president.— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) October 23, 2015
Hillary Clinton maintained a calm, unruffled demeanor for 11 hours Thursday, as Republican after Republican grilled her in relation to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi and about her use of a private email server as secretary of state. ...
Despite the long hours, Republicans failed to catch Clinton off her guard or come up with significant new revelations to argue that she was negligent in her duties that led to the death of four Americans in Libya.
Her appearance is likely to give her a boost with the base, especially coming off from a strong performance after the first Democratic debate last week. Republicans weren't able to score any major hits and knock her off her feet, and Clinton showed she had the stamina to withstand the GOP attacks -- a fact that Republican lawmakers grudgingly seemed to acknowledge.
Conservative columnist Byron York @ Washington Examiner - Benghazi Bust:Outside GOP cloakroom tonight, many Rs subdued as they discussed #BenghaziCommittee. No celebrating. Priv say Clinton formidable.— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 22, 2015
There's a reason Benghazi Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy offered Hillary Clinton the chance to testify in a private, closed hearing. And there's a reason Clinton wanted to appear in an open setting, with the whole world watching. ...
So a hearing billed as an epic, High Noon-style confrontation — granted, the hype came from the media, not Republican committee members themselves — instead turned out to be a somewhat interesting look at a few limited aspects of the Benghazi affair. In other words, no big deal. And that is very, very good news for Hillary Clinton.
Sahil Kapur @ Bloomberg - Conservative Reviews Are In: Benghazi Hearing A Bust:No matter who any Dem backs in the primary I think all ought to enjoy Hillary's shut down of the House GOP's Benghazi committee antics today— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) October 22, 2015
To hear Republicans tell it, a series of unfortunate events culminated in a rough day Thursday for the House Benghazi Committee, leaving conservatives to wonder if they've lost their most potent political weapon against Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Seven months after the panel revealed that Clinton used a private e-mail server as secretary of state—a scoop that committee chairman Trey Gowdy repeatedly took credit for—bringing heaps of negative press to the Democratic presidential front-runner and a dip in her poll numbers, Clinton effectively turned the tables on her most nettlesome GOP inquisitors. During 8 hours and 20 minutes of testimony, Clinton deftly handled some hostile and at times pointed questioning from Republicans, keeping her cool and letting Democrats on the committee handle the political attacks.
In the end, Republicans threw some red meat to their conservative base but failed to land a blow to Clinton's credibility or unearth a meaningful discovery about the 2012 attacks on a U.S. outpost that left four Americans dead in Libya. It wasn't just Clinton loyalists saying that.
"A hearing that was once a threat has really become an opportunity for her," John Dean, a former White House counsel for Richard Nixon who is now a political independent, said on MSNBC hours into the hearing. "I think this is really Hillary's day. It's going to help her presidential campaign. As somebody who's been both a witness and a counsel, this is a textbook example of how to be a good witness."
Among House Republicans, there were no high-fives: A half-dozen lawmakers surveyed offered a muted response when asked about the hearing on Thursday afternoon. Many conservative commentators were unimpressed, if not angry with the proceedings.
For more conservative dismay, don't miss this priceless post by kos.If I was Bernie Sanders, I would pull the fire alarm. This is helping Hillary too much. It's just not fair... LOL— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) October 23, 2015
There were so many more awesome tweets about the hearing, but we have to stop somewhere.
Okay, one more: