Democratic operatives must be nervous, if not panicked, after Hillary Clinton’s interview with Diane Sawyer in which Sawyer, to quote the Washington Post’s headline, “destroyed” the former Secretary of State. It’s common knowledge that Clinton is anything but a natural on the campaign trail. But the tone deafness of some of her responses (e.g., we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses) suggests that Clinton may be a gaffe machine with little ability to connect with ordinary voters.
Clinton’s answers regarding Benghazi give evasion a bad name. Her statement that Benghazi has contributed to her desire to become president so she can help the country avoid minor league ball is, as Scott says, in need of translation. Did Clinton mean that protecting America’s diplomats is a secondary matter, beneath her proper pay grade?
What constitutes major league ball in Clinton’s view? The Russia reset, complete with fake button and improper Russian translation? Our Syria policy, complete with the triumph of Assad, the rise of al Qaeda, and 150,000 dead?
There is much that Clinton will have to defend. The Sawyer interview makes one wonder whether she is up to it.
The key to her defense will be pointing the finger elsewhere without appearing to be a finger pointer. Clinton has the first part down. Benghazi wasn’t her fault; the security technicians were to blame. The various foreign policy failures of the Obama administration weren’t her fault; they are down to Obama taking the advice of others.
Clinton’s problem is that her finger pointing is transparent. Sawyer clearly thought so, as she pressed the former Secretary for a “sentence that begins from you ‘I should have.’” The sentence quite never came.
Clinton even dragged past Secretaries of State through the mud. She stated:
Just like Secretary Shultz was upset when terrorists killed Americans in Beirut and Secretary Albright was upset when terrorists bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, I mourn the loss of four patriotic Americans who served in Benghazi.
Did Shultz or Albright fail to respond to specific requests for beefed up security? Did either run for president?
And how many voters even remember, or ever knew about, Shultz or Albright? It’s bad enough when a school child tries to defend herself by saying “Johnny did it too.” But when Johnny last attended school 20 or 30 years ago, the defense becomes laughable.
Therein lies the question that may be starting to keep Democratic operatives awake at night: will voters eventually roll their eyes at Hillary Clinton?