But there was, less expectedly, a scene that will surely be replayed in attack ads and echoed (and possibly distorted) in the Republican primary campaign, assuming that Clinton does run. It came in an exchange with Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin. Like many of his colleagues, he goaded. (“I realize that’s a good excuse,” he said when Clinton talked about not interfering with investigations.) She lost her patience when he said, not for the first time, that she could have found out what was going on at the consulate easily enough if she wanted to.
Clinton: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Johnson: I understand.“What difference, at this point, does it make?” In regard to the Republican obsession with Susan Rice’s “Meet the Press” appearance, that is a reasonable question. Perhaps frustration was also driving Clinton, but that’s not how she framed it. What she went on to say is not so controversial: Chase them down first, keep this from happening again...The line alone, though, sounds painfully dismissive...
Clinton: Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?
It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. But the fact is that people were trying in real time to get the best information….But, you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.
I've now seen this:
I guess there may yet be a difference.
But America's liberal wing doesn't think so.