American Government, Alexander Sections

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    It’s early afternoon Thursday. I just tuned in and watched a short snippet of the interrogation of Hillary Clinton by the special House Committee headed by Rep. Trey Goudy. A big interest of Goudy and the other Republicans is clearly Mrs. Clinton’s friendship with one Sidney Blumenthal, who had extraordinary access to her and was able to give her a lot of advice and information while she was secretary of state. Three things I observe so far:

    1. Mrs. Clinton is keeping her cool, as she obviously knows she needs to do no matter what happens.

    2. Trey Goudy, a former prosecutor, is totally in the mode of a prosecutor cross-examining a criminal suspect whose defense he is determined to crack.

    3. Mrs. Clinton has some strong Democratic allies on the committee. Most vocal of them, in the little bit I saw, was Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. Mrs. Clinton, while restraining herself from angrily accusing Goudy of being on a partisan witch hunt, is able quietly to enjoy the fact that Rep. Cummings is doing precisely that.

    My general takeaway on it is simply this: Democrats and Republicans watching this debate are going to see exactly that they’ve been seeing right along, in the two different realms of reality they live in. Democrats will continue to regard her as a victim of a witch hunt; Republicans will continue to see her as a nefarious criminal trying to wiggle her way out of it. And, because Mrs. Clinton only needs Democrats to vote for her in the Democratic primary, I don’t see her suffering any loss in the Democratic polls from these hearings. I also interpret Joe Biden’s announcement of his non-candidacy as, in part, a sign that he does not think she’s going to lose ground in the Democratic primary from the whole Benghazi affair.

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