Yesterday was a busy day. Tom and I walked 3.5 miles in the morning and then went out into the yard to work, continuing the fall clean up. It was 1:30 before I came in to take a shower and get my lunch. Then I sat down to peruse the newspaper. At 3:30 we left to attend Isaac's track meet. On the way home we picked up a roasted chicken for our dinner and hurried home to watch the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.
Whenever I was in the house - before our walk, during the brief time before going outside to work, during my extended lunch hour- I turned on the TV to CNN to see what was happening during the hearings. When I turned on the TV at 5:40 to watch football, I noticed that the hearings were still in progress.
Hillary Clinton was questioned for eleven hours! I saw some of the questioning and some analysis from CNN staff. In those snippets I formed these opinions: the Republicans on the committee tried their best to antagonize Secretary Clinton, asking similar questions over and over again, fishing for any possible mistake to jump on; the Democrats on the committee used their time to invalidate the committee and support Clinton; Hillary Clinton appreciated their help but didn't need it.
Hillary smiled her Mona Lisa smile, remained calm and collected, and repeatedly answered their questions, while wondering, sometimes out loud, what those questions had to do with the stated purpose of the hearing, which was to try to determine why security was breached at the consulate in Benghazi and what could be done to prevent similar events from happening in the future.
All of the answers to all of the questions were already on record, from previous hearings from the at least seven other Benghazi committees. The only thing new was the release of the Clinton emails. Clearly they had searched those emails for ammunition, but having come up empty, they tried to create false red flags. Hillary simply took the wind out of their sails and those flags didn't fly.
Secretary Clinton sat calmly by, with a wry smile, as the committee members shouted and bickered with each other. While she treated each member with respect, her smile changed from calmly engaged to bemused, to slightly exasperated, and faded completely as she told of the multiple attacks on that September 11, 2012, including the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Did we learn anything from these eleven hours of testimony? From the frustrating looks on the faces of the Republican committee members, I think not. Why? Because there was nothing more to learn. The facts had already been ascertained. There was nothing more to discover. With all the hype about the emails, there was no there there.
Hillary Clinton proved that she could be calm under fire. While you may hear from some disgruntled Republicans that she was not forthcoming, that is not the case. She answered their questions and supplied all the considerable information she had. It just wasn't what they wanted to hear.
Way to go, Hillary.
Oh, and by the way, the Seahawks won!