Did Clinton Weather the Benghazi Storm? Or Are There More Stormy Clouds Ahead for Her Campaign?
Hillary Clinton, after a grueling day of testimony before the congressional Benghazi committee, made clear she hopes to at last move beyond the controversy that has dogged her presidential campaign.
The former secretary of state -- no doubt looking to avoid missteps that could reverberate on the trail -- was visibly measured Thursday as she spent 11 hours defending her role before, during and after the attacks. And she repeatedly cited past investigations, suggesting there’s little more to uncover.
Whether Clinton gets her wish remains to be seen.
Ultimately, analysts suggested the hearing might not move the dial much either way – Republican critics continued to voice frustration Thursday at her responses, while congressional Democrats spent the better part of the day defending her.
"In the short-term, this has probably not changed the minds of anyone watching the proceedings,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said.
That may have been all Clinton could hope for.
She entered the committee room Thursday at the end of an important week for the campaign – a day earlier, Vice President Biden, who had been considering a 2016 bid and could have posed the biggest primary threat to her candidacy, announced he would not run. This came after she delivered what was widely regarded as a strong debate performance last week.
But even if her testimony doesn’t change many minds, the former secretary of state’s detractors likely will find plenty of fodder in her hearing responses.
Though Democrats complained the hearing turned up nothing new, Clinton did acknowledge Thursday that, even as she received frequent emails from friend Sidney Blumenthal, the late Ambassador Chris Stevens did not have her personal email address.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, also said that as the administration was blaming an anti-Islam video for motivating the attackers, Clinton was telling the Egyptian prime minister they knew the attack was “planned” and had “nothing to do with the film.”