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January 23, 2013

Hillary Clinton Eyes Members of Congress (and a Presidential Future?) During Benghazi Hearings

Clinton Benghazi 1 Gruber

I don’t know when USA Today’s Jack Gruber snapped this shot of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at yesterday’s Benghazi hearings. Was it when Rand Paul waxed hypothetical about his delusions of presidential grandeur? Or did the raised eyebrows signal Clinton’s interest after Senators and Representatives from both parties repeatedly joked about her plans for 2016? If anything, Wednesday’s hearings—and their corresponding images—boosted, rather than quelled, Clinton’s presidential prospects.

Republicans came to the hearings loaded for bear—no doubt viewing the sessions as an opportunity to both discredit the Obama administration and cripple one of the Democrats’ strongest 2016 contenders.  Perhaps they thought Secretary Clinton would be easy pickins after her recent hospital stay and much publicized exhaustion.

Instead, she was at the top of her game, displaying a wide range of emotions during hours of testimony without being dismissed as “emotional.”

Clinton benghazi 2 Applewhite

Clinton answered questions assertively, pointing (both literally and figuratively) to the facts as established by impartial investigators. The lines on her forehead connote authenticity (no Botox there) and experience. Although her green suit was both distinctive and fashion forward (emerald is the Pantone color of 2013), it also serves as a subtle signal of her personal and political independence. Whereas Obama combined red and blue, choosing purple to signify the post-partisanship he failed to achieve, Clinton’s green draws from a different palette, suggesting growth, maturity, and continued vitality.

When Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) charged that the administration had “intentionally misled” people about what triggered the attack, Clinton became instantly animated, gesturing defiantly and even pounding on the table as she rebutted his assertion. The show of force was spontaneous and brief, suggesting that Clinton’s passion was paired with the appropriate degree of discipline. This photo visually depicts that dynamic, as one hand rests calmly next to the briefing book and the other gestures forcefully toward the panel.

Clinton Benghazi 4 Pablo Martinez Monsivais

For the majority of the hearings, however, Clinton was more sanguine—even bored, as Senators and Representatives ate up the majority of their question time with protracted monologues and political grandstanding.

Hillary Benghazi 5 Twitter

At yesterday’s hearings, Clinton conducted herself with presidential gravitas. She was confident, candid, collegial and—when necessary—combative. Like a good commander-in-chief, however, her ire was reserved for those who impugned patriotic citizens and public servants, and she capably deflected charges of political immediacy back onto those who questioned her competence. A few times, she was even unguarded enough to laugh. Although Clinton takes politics, public policy, and diplomacy very seriously, these pictures suggest that when it comes to facing her critics, Hillary Clinton may, indeed, get the last laugh.

Hillary Benghazi Monsivais 2

by Karrin Anderson | @KVAnderson

(photo 1: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY. photo 2 & 3: J. Scott Applewhite/AP caption: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly attack on US diplomats in Benghazi, Libya. photo 4 & 6: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP. photo 5: Via: @michaelhayes/Twitter via Buzzfeed.)

  • ballerinaX

    ” Please proceed gentlemen”

  • BamaGuy1024

    Presidential gravitas: Hillary has it in spades. I was so amazed at her demeanor in the face of soul wearying GOP grandstanding. She made them look so bad.

  • ciclo

    Cosmetically, she looks great. She looks younger and in one of these fotos looks almost like she might have thirty years ago.

  • NaomiRG

    I completely agree that she was presidential. I only hope she doesn’t consider herself to old to run in 2016 (69, I think?)

  • Bruce

    “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
    “I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

    SAME difference; are We going to have Barack-faced LIARS as our “chief executives OR NOT? OBVIOUSLY NOT!

  • Deb

    In 2008 it seemed like the option was to elect a couple: Hillary but you got Bill Clinton back in the White House too. 2016 will be her show – she has taken center stage, will be a great president. I’m ready to see her continue the impressive work that is well on its way. Health Care Reform was her baby, after all.

  • marcsobel

    I thought the NYTimes front page (print edition) photo was the best of the lot. My caption would be like Ballerinax ” Please proceed gentlemen” with “asshole” being the subtext.

  • Darwin Woodka

    That particular shade of green is a very subtle power color.

  • Aaron Glicco

    Man she NAILED some of those guys butts to the wall. Esp after the whole ” What difference does it make, its our job to find out who did it and bring them to justice!

  • aSouthernMan

    May 10, 2013: Now that ABC news has proven the State Dept is DIRECTLY involved with editing the Talking Points Benghazi memo for Political reasons – are you going to report the riveting Benghazi hearing and story ? Nothing yet, and it’s been 2 days since the hearings. Not a word or pic from Bagnews. Being a ‘Progressive’ site should not mean that you suppress or ignore the truth. But judging from the view in this story, and the ignorance of evidence showing Hillary Clinton knew far more than she implied – does she still deserve your fawning praise ?

  • ASouthernMan

    30-Oct-2013 THIS IS WHY IT MATTERS, Hillary
    [ "Yes, we had special forces in Tripoli, and two in fact did volunteer
    and engaged heroically in the efforts to save Americans," one source
    told The Times. "The others were asked to stay behind to help protect
    Tripoli in case there was a coordinated attack on our main embassy.
    Pressed why the Pentagon and administration officials did not publicly
    acknowledge the special operations forces' contribution that tragic night,
    the sources said officials decided that their anti-terror work inside Libya
    was sensitive and closely guarded. In addition, U.S. officials did not
    have a Status of Forces Agreement in place that would have authorized
    the troops' presence, the sources said. ]
    Hillary CLINTON, Pres OBAMA, & Susan RICE all LIED to America. Period.
    Looking forward to how Jay Carney will spin this,

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