1. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton momentarily lost her cool Wednesday morning during a hearing on the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, blasting Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) after he accused the White House of misleading the public about the attack. (Watch the video here) Johnson started things off by dismissing her assertion that the immediate aftermath of the attack was too chaotic for the State Department to “interfere” and determine the precise nature of the attack. “I realize that’s a good excuse,” Johnson said.

    "Well, no, it’s the fact," Clinton tartly responded. 

    Johnson continued to assail the administration for its initial claim that the attack stemmed from a spontaneous riot. That’s when Clinton went off (it starts around the 2:55 mark in the video above): "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?"

    She went on to say, “It is our job to figure out what happened, and to do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”

    Democrats have long viewed the GOP’s obsession with Benghazi as a political witch hunt, and Clinton’s impassioned response is already being seen as an expression of frustration at how Republicans have politicized the issue. Republicans, on the other hand, suggest that Clinton herself is the one politicizing the issue.

    On Benghazi, Clinton gets mad

    Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

     

  2. This was a rough week for John McCain. On Thursday, the Arizona senator and former GOP presidential nominee missed a classified briefing on the Benghazi consulate attack because he was busy holding a press conference about the lack of information about that very consulate attack. Pressed to comment on the mix-up by a CNN reporter, McCain snapped. "I have no comment about my schedule and I’m not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media," he told CNN's Ted Barrett. “I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?” 

    Of course, McCain has a long history of losing his cool in public. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and reflect on four of the Maverick’s sassiest moments

     

  3. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN on Monday that she takes full responsibility for security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where terrorists launched a Sept. 11 assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Mitt Romney has stepped up his criticism of President Obama over the attack, suggesting Obama hasn’t been up front about what happened. Vice President Joe Biden said in last week’s vice-presidential debate that the White House didn’t know about requests for more security ahead of the attack. Clinton said Biden and Obama wouldn’t have known, because she is the one in charge of State’s 60,000-plus people in 275 posts around the world. With the election so close, Clinton said, “I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha.”

    How will Clinton’s statement affect criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi? Here, four consequences:

    1. This won’t deflect the GOP’s attacks
    It appears that Clinton has fallen on her sword for the president, says Margaret Hartmann at New York, although she didn’t seem eager to do it. After all, just last week State distanced itself from other officials’ assertions that extremists “‘hijacked’ a protest in Benghazi.” Regardless, if Clinton was trying to “deflect the Republicans’ attack,” it won’t work. Romney has slammed the administration for blaming the attack on “a YouTube video and a nonexistent riot,” then for accusing the GOP ticket of politicizing the tragedy. “It won’t be too hard for the Romney team to work in another line accusing Obama of shifting the blame to his popular secretary of state.” Clinton can’t let Obama off the hook, says Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine, for “the false statements by the Obama administration” after the attack. The State Department “knew that this was a terrorist attack, not a protest,” yet the administration mischaracterized it for days. “That’s on Obama, not Clinton.” 

    2. Clinton has more explaining to do
    So, Hillary says she’s responsible for diplomats’ security, says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. “That’s nice, but it still leaves many questions, such as why her own comments to the U.N. differed so much from the substance and tone of Mr. Obama’s.” Remember, he was still talking about the Benghazi attack and the anti-Islam video in the same breath. “Saying you take ‘responsibility’ in brief interviews from faraway Peru is a long way from acting as if you’re responsible.”

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