On Friday, Hillary Clinton’s four-year stint as Secretary of State officially ended when Senator John Kerry replaced her. None can dispute that Hillary Clinton takes with her a legacy of “Madonna” star power, a tool CBS News reported Saturday, Feb. 2, Hillary prefers to call, “smart power.”
She tapped her celebrity status for social media to successfully reach a broad range of people, globally, with a special focus on youth, women and entrepreneurs. Many liberals are hopeful that Clinton will run for the presidency in 2016. Coy denials that she just wants to rest have yet to deflect their interest.
In spite of the splendid accolades Hillary is now receiving from her fellow Democrats and supporters, charges were made of “incompetence, evasion and obfuscation by angry members of Congress at two hearings into the deaths of the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi last year.” With only two years until the 2016 presidential campaigns begin, Hillary is surely prepared to deal with a list of Republican senators with notoriously long memories and star power of their own. At least three, as potential rivals, may seek to use Benghazi to bring her down.
Democrat Hillary supporters point to Hillary’s accomplishments saying it was to her credit that she was “able to levy sanctions on Iran and North Korea, and to broker the November cease-fire in Gaza.” However, her GOP critics, continue to rake her over the coal regarding the handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack, a blemish on her career that many predict will haunt her if she does set her sights on the presidency.
Many thought the danger was that Clinton’s celebrity attraction might suck the oxygen from her official position. Clinton’s acclaim was such that one former Clinton adviser, Anne Marie Slaughter, compared her to a legendary rock star, claiming, “The first trip I took with her was like traveling with Madonna.”
Also according to CBS, Hillary’s parting statements to her department employees were full of pride in what her department had accomplished. With praise for her team, Clinton said she was especially “confident about the direction we have set.” However, it is the direction Hillary next travels that is exciting opinion and speculation. Will Hillary make a bid for the White House in 2016?
Senator Rand Paul accuses Hillary Clinton of ‘a failure of leadership’
Senator Rand Paul, Republican from Kentucky scathingly remarked to Hillary during her testimony regarding Benghazi: “I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility. I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that.”
Paul added, “Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.” Paul was referring to earlier comments by Clinton when she acknowledged that she had not read all of the documentation surrounding the attack.
As a nod towards any future presidential aspirations Hillary might have, Paul pulled out the kicker, saying he felt the way Hillary handled Benghazi spoke to her “failure of leadership.”
According to the Huffington Post, Hillary denied responsibility pointing elsewhere in her department, “I am the Secretary of State. And the [Accountability Review Board] made very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined was set at the Assistant Secretary level and below.”
Senator Paul is a Tea Party and Libertarian favorite who may have aspirations of his own for the 2016 presidential race. His dad, former Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, casts a long shadow with an almost cult following that his son might rely upon if he runs for president in 2016. Although Clinton’s star power is immeasurable, it’s possible Rand Paul would be a worthy opponent.
Senator Kelly Ayotte questions Hillary Clinton’s credibility following Benghazi testimony
Responding to testimony of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New Hampshire, questioned the credibility of Clinton’s claim that during the Benghazi attack, the response was “clear-eyed.” According to MSNBC, Ayotte was dissatisfied:
“It really didn’t make sense to me that the request, for example, that August 16th cable where Ambassador Stevens had said that the consulate could not withstand a coordinated attack, it seems like there needs to be a trip-wire that making sure that requests for security, particularly where we come out of a war zone in Libya, go up the chain of command. That did not happen here. And I think that’s very important. To be clear-eyed, I would think that you would want to be more focused on the actual security requests.”
Ayotte is an up and coming star of the Republican party. At one time she was mentioned as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential race. Many expect Ayotte to be out-front and vocal if Clinton runs for the presidency in 2016, if not an actual rival for the position.
Senator Marco Rubio: The Hispanic favorite for 2016 ‘grilled’ Hillary Clinton about Benghazi
According to poll results published by the Washington Examiner, if Senator Marco Rubio of Florida ran against Hillary Clinton for the presidency today, he would win the Hispanic vote, 48 percent to 34 percent. Many conservatives are eyeing Rubio as a possible GOP nominee for the presidency in 2016.
During Hillary’s testimony regarding the Benghazi terrorist attack resulting in the deaths of four Americans, it was widely reported that Rubio “grilled” Hillary with questions, hammering her for security details. As can be seen via YouTube video, Hillary’s answers failed to answer his questions.
Rubio: “Before the attack in Benghazi, what have we done specifically for to help them build their security capacity?”
Clinton: “Well there’s a long list and I’d be happy to provide that to you because it is filled with training, with equipment, with the kind of planning that they had not done before; and, I’d be happy to send you the detail on that, Senator.”