It to be a provided that Hillary Clinton’s appearances Wednesday to talk about Benghazi in prior of House and also Senate committees would be some type of prelude to the 2016 campaign, as well as wrapping up business from the critical one. To begin with, Clinton to be there, and also so to be a clutch of various other potential contenders. Senator rand Paul, of Kentucky, take it the technique of impeaching her leadership, strongly saying that she was a well-meaning showboater that hadn’t excellent the work-related she essential to execute to store her employee safe, contributing come the fatality of 4 American diplomats in an strike on the consulate critical September. (“Had i been chairman at the time, and I discovered that you did not check out the cables indigenous Benghazi, girlfriend did not check out the cables from Ambassador Stevens—I would have actually relieved you of your post. I think that inexcusable.”) Marco Rubio made she sound favor a pensioner who had nowhere to look yet back, thanking she for she service, asking straightforward questions, and more or much less letting her talk. John McCain, who has actually run and also lost, called her that “frankly, the answers the you’ve given this morning room not satisfying to me.”

But over there was, less expectedly, a scene that will certainly surely be replayed in strike ads and echoed (and perhaps distorted) in the Republican primary campaign, assuming that Clinton does run. It come in one exchange with Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican native Wisconsin. Like countless of his colleagues, he goaded. (“I realize that’s a great excuse,” that said as soon as Clinton talked around not interfering through investigations.) She lost her patience once he said, no for the an initial time, the she can have uncovered out what was going on in ~ the consulate easily enough if she want to.

You are watching: At this point what difference does it make

Clinton: v all early out respect, the fact is we had 4 dead Americans.

Johnson: i understand.

Clinton: was it because of a protest or to be it due to the fact that of men out for a to walk one night who made decision they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does the make?

It is our task to number out what happened and do everything we can to protect against it from ever before happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, ns will perform my best to answer her questions about this. However the truth is that civilization were do the efforts in genuine time to gain the finest information….But, friend know, to it is in clear, the is, from my perspective, less essential today feather backwards as to why these militants made decision they walk it 보다 to discover them and also bring them come justice, and also then possibly we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.

“What difference, at this point, does it make?” In regard come the Republican obsession with Susan Rice’s “Meet the Press” appearance, that is a reasonable question. Possibly frustration was likewise driving Clinton, but that’s not exactly how she framed it. What she go on come say is not so controversial: chase them under first, save this indigenous happening again. Nothing get captured up in the an enig of hate. The reply would certainly be that knowing why human being do points helps to protect against them from happening again. (Ironically, the is an ext often republicans who space impatient through discussions around what’s going on in the hearts and minds of men with guns.) The line alone, though, sounds painfully dismissive. The Times’ Lede blog points out that #WhatDifferenceDoesItMake is now a hashtag, and also not one supplied by Hillary fans. Her unfortunate defense can be that the reading of the line depends on what the meaning of “it” is.

There will certainly be lot of of human being who applaud Hillary’s performance—the hit she lugged to she confrontations v Republicans. In that sense, that is one more reflection of the deeply divergent emotions she evokes. If she had actually not acquired into the fight v Johnson, the memorable moment might have been once she choked up talking about the four diplomats. However by the end she looked favor a mrs who believed that she to be stooping to show up in this venue. The question now is even if it is that method suits a 2016 candidate well, or badly.


Amy Davidson Sorkin has actually been a employee writer at The new Yorker since 2014. She has been at the magazine since 1995, and, as a senior editor for plenty of years, focussed on nationwide security, international reporting, and also features.

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