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If Benghazi Doesn’t Damage Hillary Clinton Politically, What Would?

Hillary Clinton at 2013 ABA

While Republicans continue to believe that the “truth,” whatever it might be, about what happened at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya on the night of September 12, 2012 will be something that will be a political winner for them both against the Obama Administration and against Hillary Clinton should she indeed run in 2016, a recent poll seems to indicate that the former Secretary of State is not seeing any political impact at all from the attack or the allegations about it:

Republicans are convinced the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, undercut Hillary Clinton’s case for becoming the next president.

But Benghazi has yet to register as an Achilles heel for Clinton with the American public.

A new Pew Research Center poll asked people about the most positive and negative aspects of Clinton’s political career.

While Benghazi was the most frequently mentioned event or thing, just 15 percent cited it as the most negative aspect of her career. The second most negative thing people cited was her husband, Bill Clinton, and/or his affair with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office.

On the positive side, impressions were similarly diffuse. Twelve percent of people cited her tenure as secretary of state, while 8 percent cited Bill Clinton and/or her handling of his affair.

The poll showed two-thirds of people (67 percent) continue to have a positive view of her tenure as secretary of state, while just 25 percent have a negative view of it.

Number like this are unlikely to persuade conservatives to not bring Benghazi up should Clinton run as nearly every credible analyst expects her too, of course. At the very least, it’s an issue that resonates well with the base. More importantly, though, it seems clear that a substantial part of Clinton’s message if she does run will be based on arguments about managerial competence based on her time at Foggy Bottom. At the very least, the Benghazi incident does tend to draw some of that into question given the fact that even sympathetic reviews of what happened have noted that there were warnings about the security situation in the Benghazi and eastern Libya that were ignored by officials at the State Department. While it’s unlikely that any of these security warnings came across Clinton’s desk, it is something that happened while she was the person in charge so it seems fair to cite the fact that those warnings were seemingly ignored as a counter-example to any claims about her tenure as Secretary of State.

On the whole, though, it just doesn’t strike me as likely that Benghazi is going to be something that has a serious impact on Clinton’s electoral fortunes. Absent some sort of smoking gun, which doesn’t seem to exist, there just doesn’t seem to be enough there to cause public opinion about Clinton to turn negative. Indeed, it’s worth noting that even though Clinton failed to win the Democratic nomination in 2008, she still managed to come out of that race with generally positive public approval numbers, something that continued throughout her tenure at the State Department and which has been sustained since left office in January of last year. Given that, one has to openly wonder if there’s anything at all that can stop what seems to be a seemingly unstoppable political force.

One area where Clinton’s time as Secretary of State could end up hurting her politically, of course, is the entire issue of our relationship with Russia and the so-called “reset” that Clinton famously declared during her first meeting with her counterpart from the Russian Federation. There’s been much discussion about that reset over the two weeks or so of the Crimea/Ukraine crisis, and if the events we’re witnessing now end up being the beginning of a tense period in relations with Moscow, then it would be entirely legitimate for Clinton’s Republican (and Democratic) opponents to bring up her role in defining the relationship with the Putin regime during the time that she was Secretary of State.

In the end, though, it seems unlikely that anything related to foreign policy will be playing a large role in the 2016 race unless there happens to be some major international crisis going on at the time. Instead, as has been the case in the past, the major debates will continue to be about the economy, the role of government, health care, and other issues. In those areas, Clinton’s fortunes are likely to be determined in no small part by what state the economy is in when 2016 rolls around, how successful or unsuccessful the Affordable Care Act has been, and how popular or unpopular President Obama happens to be. If things turn out the right way and they have the right candidate (a big if, quite obviously), then the GOP might actually have a chance. If they don’t, then they could see themselves lose their fifth Presidential election in 24 years.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Clinton will be undamaged by anything the Republicans – or their usual Noise Boys – bring up. So much of what the Faux News crowd has trumpeted over the last few years has proven to be at best, overblown (IRS “scandal”) and at worst, completely manufactured (Obamacare “tragedies”) that nobody but the dead-end 27%ers will believe it. The only thing that can derail Clinton is if she does something stupid all by herself.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Benghazi harms Hillary only with people who never had any intention of voting for her anyway.

    What could be damaging to Hillary is the general fatigue people may have with the Clintons or with these 8 years a Democratic president and GOP obstruction. On the other hand, being the 1st viable female candidate for president coupled with the possibility that Republicans may go further right could get her to the top.

    Lot’s of time left in the game.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  3. jukeboxgrad says:

    Something I’m going to mention preemptively, since a lot of conservatives are still confused about this (link):

    there is in fact hard evidence that the local Islamist scene in Benghazi was in uproar about the “anti-Islam video” in the run-up to the attack, and that this outrage figured prominently among the motivations of the assailants

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

  4. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    the 1st viable female candidate for president

    or vice president, for that matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    @al-Ameda: Now that Christy is out I don’t really see who the Republicans have that could beat her.
    @legion: All these faux scandals may be good redmeat for the base but will be ignored by 73% of the population.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  6. gVOR08 says:

    Doug? It’s 32 months to the election. The electorate have no memory beyond three months. By then Benghazi will be forgotten. And Darryl Issa will have four new faux scandals and be a laughing stock outside the TP and the GOP caucus. And I have doubts about the GOP caucus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  7. C. Clavin says:

    Republicans have been trying to tar these two with anything they can for over two decades now.
    If only they could find something real. Then maybe…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  8. edmondo says:

    The only thing that can stop Hillary is Bill. We can hope, can’t we?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  9. Jack says:

    Based upon the backlash I received earlier this week, Hillery’s comments,like mine, comparing Putin’s moves in Ukraine to that of Hitler will doom her nomination.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 18

  10. Jack says:

    @edmondo: Personally, I’m hoping for a brain hemorrhage. Cross your fingers.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 57

  11. Tillman says:

    Potential primary opponents might bring up Wall Street connections if income inequality worsens/isn’t addressed before 2016. A Republican populist might attempt something similar. Most of the base still considers the bailout as something Obama did, and the rest of the general electorate doesn’t need much convincing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. Ron Beasley says:

    Doug, this comment :@Jack: should be moderated out of existence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  13. dazedandconfused says:

    “What would?” As if Benghazi was a great exposure of incompetence? I’ll suggest something real.

    Seems SOS Clinton put Vicky Nuland (Bob Kagan’s wife!) in charge of pecking at Putin. Why are we pecking at Putin? Hillary sealed her credentials as a neocon with her Hitler comment. It has long been known she and McCain like each other. I agree that the vast majority of Americans do not care about foreign affairs, but there is something here worth examining if she has to run against somebody with a libertarian bent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ron Beasley: Ron, while I hardly find it agreeable (mind you, I could say the same about half of the GOP), the comment is instructive and therefor should remain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  15. anjin-san says:

    @Jack

    Personally, I’m hoping for a brain hemorrhage

    You must be one of those Christian/values voters we hear so much about.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 1

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There is much I can find to object to about the Clintons, but name me a politician in Washington that the same can not be said of? Besides, I have heard nothing that will resonate with anyone beyond the 27%.

    If the choice is Hillary or Rick Perry, what choice do I have? Hillary or Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? Paul Ryan? Chris Christie? Scott Walker? Rick Santorum?!?!?!????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  17. aFloridian says:

    I really thought I was going to see the word “Royalist” here somewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  18. michael reynolds says:

    1) The dynasty thing.
    2) The age thing.
    3) The been there, done that, thing.
    4) Sexism.

    Those are the big threats I see. Benghazi is just red meat for morons.

    It will come down, as always, to the choice we are given. Clinton vs. Paul? Clinton vs. Christie? Clinton vs. Bush?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  19. al-Ameda says:

    @gVOR08:

    @al-Ameda:
    the 1st viable female candidate for president

    gV: or vice president, for that matter.

    I suppose one could say that Geraldine Ferraro (because of Mondale) was not a viable female VP candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    Personally, I’m hoping for a brain hemorrhage. Cross your fingers.

    Stay classy, Jack, mein cupcake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  21. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: I assume he meant that he was hoping for his own brain hemorrhage. Being a horrible human being probably takes its toll on the body.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  22. Pinky says:

    My gut (which doesn’t have a great track record) says that she can’t win the primary. There’s no incentive to voting for her, except, as Michael says, fear of being called bad names if you don’t. That fear will drive the party leadership, but it won’t persuade 50% of the voters of IA, NH, and SC. All it takes is one loss and the press will be running stories with the word “inevitability” and question marks. And whoever runs against her will probably be more ideologically pure and also have the underdog appeal. I’m not a betting man, but you could probably get good odds in
    Vegas, and I think you should take the bet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  23. andrew e. says:

    I’m seeing Hillary called ‘The Butcher of Benghazi’ around some comment sections. Yee-ha.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. superdestroyer says:

    Just another example of how politics has changed in the U.S. Unless a serious Democratic Party challenger comes along, everyone will know who the next president will be in February 2016 after the New Hampshire primaries. It will be odd to have a de facto president-elect for a full year before the inauguration.

    My the summer of 2016, the quants like Nate Silver will be showing that the probability of Clinton winning will be above 90% and the MSM will be hard pressed to pretend that the general election is competitive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  25. Andre Kenji says:

    1-) Republicans talking about Benghazi reminds me Walter Mondale talking about the Middle East and Central America in 1984. That´s too complicated from voters, and that´s too distant from their reality.

    2-) Hillary is not unbeatable. She has high poll numbers for the Democratic Nomination, but she has very high name recognition and in December she was running neck to neck with that bizarre fat dude from New Jersey that yells with journalists and Teachers:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/27/2016-hillary-clinton-chris-christie_n_4508133.html

    If you have high name recognition and if you can´t go over 50% against a adversary that relatively few people know, you are not “unbeatable”. This idea that Hillary is “unbeatable” is another false meme coming from the Beltway Media.

    3-) Polls more than six months from the election are irrelevant. Just ask President Dukakis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  26. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: I will, puddin’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  27. superdestroyer says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    And what states would Hillary Clinton lose that Obama won in 2012? There is not a single states that Obama won that Clinton would have to break a sweat to also win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  28. bill says:

    25% of voters wouldn’t care if she actually ordered the benghazi victims to be slain. they are that dumb/ out of it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 19

  29. rudderpedals says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hillary or Jeb?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Pinky says:

    @superdestroyer: It depends who she’s running against, how the economy is doing, how many ground troops we have in Cuba, whether our first zero-point energy reactor is online yet, if the NewSSR has invaded Liechtenstein…the usual stuff that’s easy to predict two and a half years out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  31. rudderpedals says:

    @andrew e.:

    The Butcher of Benghazi
    was one named Khadafy
    The United States freed
    Libyans from his greed
    And the GOP always blames Hillary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  32. Jr says:

    The only thing that will hurt Hillary is a scandal/massive screw-up by the Obama admin. If Obama finishes the next two years without much fuss, then the GOP has no shot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. Jr says:

    @Pinky: Democrats at the end of the day are pragmatic voters. They will vote for the person whom they know has the best shot of winning(hell that is why we got stuck with Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000).

    People may bring up Obama, but even though he was new/fresh……he was also viable. There is no one like that currently in the field.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  34. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    No doubt you are working diligently to defeat the many Republicans in congress who voted to cut funding for embassy/consulate security.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  35. superdestroyer says:

    @Jr:

    Given the growing number of automatic Democratic Party voters, the size of the screw up required for the Democrats to lose continues to grow. There will come a time between 2020 and 2030 when the Democrats cannot possibly screw up enough to lose. See the 2012 reelection of Jesse Jackson Jr to see what happens to elections when the Democrats get the demographics correct. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/jesse-jackson-jr-election_n_2084842.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  36. Bill Hollihan says:

    One of the most disappointing things about the Benghazi affair is that it has become something that the dems may avoid during an election, when it could have been a positive aspect of this administration. 12 or so attacks under Bush with as many as 60 deaths and 1 attack and 4 deaths under Obama sounds like something something to tout.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  37. Robin Cohen says:

    @al-Ameda: While Hillary has achieved more than one high office, I question what she has achieved while in those offices. I would like to see a female President but it should not be Hillary just because she’s available. There are other choices, such as Elizabeth Warren, who have far less negative baggage than Hillary, including Bill with his profound lack of self control with women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. Tillman says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    If you have high name recognition and if you can´t go over 50% against a adversary that relatively few people know, you are not “unbeatable”. This idea that Hillary is “unbeatable” is another false meme coming from the Beltway Media.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Inevitability rumors like this so far out from the election seem more of a burden than an asset. You can always fail high expectations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  39. beth says:

    @Tillman: This “inevitability” crap I hear from the media always amuses me – can they not remember as far back as 2008?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. MarkedMan says:

    Hillary was my NY State Senator and I have a lot of respect for her work there. More recently her State Department pulled off a beautiful effort that strengthened the US in the Pacific Rim and left the Chinese government wondering how the rug had been pulled out from under their feet. But… I think she’s got a tough row to hoe. She’s simply not that personable. Competent, decisive, smart, yep, all that and more. But I think she fails the beer test.

    As for Christie, well, I’ve been predicting on this site with some regularity that he would self destruct. But now I think I may be wrong. Bridgegate has given him a near death experience that may really cause him to change his fundamental nature. Ha, ha, ha of course not. He’s a bully and will always be a bully. But it may be a heavy enough blow to put the fear of god in him and give hi the motivation for him to keep the inner bully tamped down during the election season. If this had happened a year or 18 months from now I would be crowing about how I was correct and linking to all those posts I made about him self destructing. But now I wonder if it has happened early enough that it will be ancient history by the time the election rolls around and he will keep his nose clean in the meantime. The public eventually forgets. And by eventually I mean with 9 months at the outside.

    In a head to head matchup between a well behaved Christie and a competent machine like Hillary, well I’m afraid the personable bully may win. The only question: can he convince the money men to stay in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: The roadblock on Christie’s path to the White house is not Hillary, it’s the Ted Cruz’s in the GOP, all the “real conservatives” can’t stand him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  42. JohnMcC says:

    Recommended reading at LGM regarding a long-read essay published as a cover-story at Harpers.
    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2014/03/the-perils-and-promise-of-political-science-oversimplications
    The bone contended over is how much elections are swayed by the “fundamentals” such as the economy, incumbency, state of foreign affairs and such versus the campaign, advertising, etc. Of particular note is the number of commenters who acknowledge having been Nader-voters in 2000 and that they generally feel significant remorse (even if they didn’t live in FL so their 3d party vote did not actually cost Mr Gore the election). Even Democrats (like I myself) who would prefer a more forthright liberal (Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren) will mark every D on the ballot.

    Seems to me that Sec’ty Clinton has the best of two worlds at this point: She will have the successes of the Obama administration draped around her neck but will have none of it’s failures.
    She’ll be remembered as the loyal wife of a philandering husband and will be associated in some vague way with the prosperity of the Clinton years. Her constituency will have very few of the “old, male, caucasian” voters who would be the most likely to find voting for a woman in a presidential election unfamiliar and unlikely. And her likely-voters will be highly motivated to help elect the first female President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  43. Andre Kenji says:

    @Tillman: I don´t think that “high expectations” are the problem. The problem is that there is no feasible basis to argue that these high expectations exists, and it´s basically journalistic malpractice to push the idea that Hillary is unbeatable.

    Yes, she has high poll numbers for the Democratic Nomination and she has establishment support. She also has name recognition. But she does not have advantages in a general election that any other major Democrat would not have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. JohnMcC says:

    @MarkedMan: Regarding Gov Christie, no one knows what the results of the Justice Dep’t inquiry will be. A criminal indictment and a lurid trial would be insurmountable IMHO. If the uproar ends tomorrow, probably the Gov would not be crippled too badly. In any case, as several people have pointed out — his 2 hour press conference left him with enough somewhat self-contradictory quotes that a clever primary opponent could slice and dice him in several ways (bad selection of staff, poor management, etc).

    In addition, his chances in the Republican heartland were never good. He is the one who had the most need to appear inevitable, much more than HRC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  45. PJ says:

    @Robin Cohen:

    There are other choices, such as Elizabeth Warren, who have far less negative baggage than Hillary, including Bill with his profound lack of self control with women.

    No worries, I’m pretty certain that President Hillary Clinton can sign an executive order to have Bill neutered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. jukeboxgrad says:

    enough somewhat self-contradictory quotes

    There are several examples, but here’s one I like. Notice what Christie said (link):

    During a news conference on Dec. 13, Christie said, “It was certainly well after the whole thing was over before I heard about it … The first I ever heard about the issue was when it was first reported in the press, which I think was in the aftermath of the leaking of (Patrick) Foye’s email. I think that was the first I heard of it, but it was certainly well after the whole thing was over.” That e-mail was first disclosed Oct. 1 by the Wall Street Journal, more than two weeks after the closures ended.

    Two weeks later? How could anyone believe that?

    And it’s hilarious to notice that Krauthammer said this (link):

    Wildstein … wrote in a letter today that … Christie knew about the closures when they were happening. “So what if he knew?” … Krauthammer asked … “Everyone in New Jersey knew. It was on the news.”

    Krauthammer’s story contradicts and undermines Christie’s own story. Was K being ignorant or dishonest? Hard to say.

    And just for the record, it wasn’t “on the news” at the time “when they were happening.” The first coverage was after it ended. The first big reporter on the story was WSJ’s Ted Mann. He got started on 9/17, way before any other big paper.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  47. Robin Cohen says:

    @PJ: I can see Hillary sharpening her knives but
    I still have a problem with the fact that she has not achieved anything noteworthy as a public figure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  48. stonetools says:

    One bad result of the crazification of the Republican Party is the way it short-circuits the intraparty Democratic discussion of who should be its presidential nominee. On the one hand, the liberals think “We really would like a fresher, younger, more liberal candidate-a Sherrod Brown or a Martin O’Malley”.
    On the other hand, you look at the nuthouse that is the Republican field and you think ,
    ” No, we have to unite and really crush those sons of bitches. There’s no way we can risk any of those bastards getting to the White House.”

    And there is a still a significant chance that the Republicans could win the Presidency in 2016, contrary to popular belief.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  49. anjin-san says:

    @Robin Cohen

    I still have a problem with the fact that she has not achieved anything noteworthy as a public figure.

    That’s pretty much nonsense. In one term, she garnered widespread respect in the senate. Even her political enemies admitted they were impressed by her strong work ethic and ability to quickly master complex issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  50. Rafer Janders says:

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what exactly the so-called Benghazi “scandal” was supposed to have been…..?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  51. Robin Cohen says:

    @Rafer Janders: Our Ambassador and others were killed because we had inadequate security for our Embassy on Hillary’s watch. The scandal revolved around that and the misinformation given about the reason for the attack and who the attackers
    were. Hillary was questioned about the attack. Her answer of “What difference does it make?”
    made her sound as if she did not care about the reason for the attack or who the attackers were.
    Lindsey Graham was one of those eager to exploit the event as showing Hillary’s and the State Department’s incompetence in managing our embassies and protecting our personnel.
    That is the scandal-supposed incompetence and the tragic deaths on the part of our State Department on Hillary’s watch. Does that help?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  52. Robin Cohen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Whatever keeps him from the White House or any other political office works for me. He has been a terrible governor, did not deserve reelection, and I, for one, hope he is forced out of office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    the misinformation given about the reason for the attack

    The only “misinformation” is your false claim of “misinformation.” Try reading the third comment in this thread, which I posted preemptively because I figured that sooner or later someone like you would show up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  54. @Robin Cohen: The State Dept was not responsible for providing security. Does that help?

    What states won by Obama do you think Hillary will lose over Benghazi?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  55. anjin-san says:

    @Robin Cohen

    House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012….Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.

    Ryan, Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Under Ryan’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/10/breaking-protecting-our-embassies-costs-money

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  56. jukeboxgrad says:

    House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding

    More on this from the ARB report (pdf):

    Benghazi was also severely under-resourced with regard to certain needed security equipment … Given the threat environment, the physical security platform in Benghazi was inadequate. … New upgrades remained a challenge, however, due to a lack of cash reserves

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  57. anjin-san says:

    @Robin Cohen

    Let’s look back at the days under President Reagan when America had strong leadership and no one dared mess with us:

    The April 18, 1983 United States embassy bombing was a suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 63 people, mostly embassy and CIA staff members, several soldiers and one Marine. 17 of the dead were Americans.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_United_States_embassy_bombing

    No doubt you were calling for impeachment…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  58. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: But did she get any laws passed?
    Respect is a good thing BUT what has she done for the country in 30 years?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  59. Robin Cohen says:

    @James in Silverdale, WA: I don’t think Benghazi will be her undoing. There are voters who just don’t like Hillary or both Clintons

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: I had read that the Republicans blocked an increase in security funding. Perhaps that can be reversed now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  61. stonetools says:

    @James in Silverdale, WA:

    What states won by Obama do you think Hillary will lose over Benghazi

    I think Benghazi will have no effect on Hillary in 2016, despite the Republicans’ best efforts. Indeed, if the economy continues to slowly recover, I think Hillary will expand the map of battleground states to Arkansas, West Virginia ad Kentucky. You heard it here first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  62. anjin-san says:

    @Robin Cohen

    But did she get any laws passed?

    In his 13 years in congress, Paul Ryan has gotten 2 bills that he sponsored passed. One was to rename a post office, and one was to modify the excise taxes on arrows used as archery equipment. Ryan was on the last GOP ticket, can you show us any of the posts/comments you made pointing out that Ryan was not qualified because he had not helped the country by passing legislation?

    Well, Ryan did vote to cut embassy security funding, so I guess that is something…

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/ryan/passedbills.asp#vvKK4wdmjRjull3Y.99

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  63. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: No, I wasn’t but remember
    Reagan gave amnesty to about 10,000 illegal immigrants. Once he did that it emboldened others to ignore our laws. In addition, 9/11 and two stupid wars changed everything. Life was much less complicated under Reagan. Had Bush not invaded Iraq but concentrated on finding Bin Laden, we would have been better off. I don’t vote by Party. I am an Independent and will vote for the best Candidate regardless of Party in 2016.

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  64. anjin-san says:

    @Robin Cohen

    I had read that the Republicans blocked an increase in security funding.

    I’m curious, where is your outrage? Is this not, considering the long and bloody history of attacks on US diplomatic missions AND the fact that we live in a post 9.11 world, a scandal? The record shows that Hillary warned of the possible consequences of these cuts, and Republicans on the hill ignored her.

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  65. anjin-san says:

    Life was much less complicated under Reagan.

    Not really, I was there. Life is always complicated. My mother watches cable news obsessively and goes on about “how dangerous the world is today” – this is a woman who lived through the depression, WW2, and the cold war.

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  66. PJ says:

    @Robin Cohen:

    I would like to see a female President but it should not be Hillary just because she’s available. There are other choices, such as Elizabeth Warren, who have far less negative baggage than Hillary, including Bill with his profound lack of self control with women.

    No, I wasn’t but remember Reagan gave amnesty to about 10,000 illegal immigrants. Once he did that it emboldened others to ignore our laws. In addition, 9/11 and two stupid wars changed everything. Life was much less complicated under Reagan. Had Bush not invaded Iraq but concentrated on finding Bin Laden, we would have been better off.

    Have you been diagnosed with schizophrenia? Maybe it’s time to visit a doctor?

    I don’t vote by Party. I am an Independent and will vote for the best Candidate regardless of Party in 2016.

    You’re quite all over the map, aren’t you?

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  67. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: Paul Ryan Will never get my vote. He is all about himself and his so called budget is ridiculous. His family got financial help from the Federal Government when they needed it but he begrudges helping others. By the same token, Hillary and Bill are all about Hillary and Bill. We need fresh faces in our politics, not retreads.
    I do not like extremes-far right or far left. If there is a Candidate out there whose platform agrees with my beliefs, I will vote for him or her. Neither Clinton nor Christie would get my vote.@anjin-san:

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  68. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: Let’s agree to disagree, shall we?

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  69. Robin Cohen says:

    @PJ: No, I just dislike the way money controls our choice of candidates. Fitness for the job in question has become irrelevant.

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  70. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: I express my outrage at the ballot box.

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  71. anjin-san says:

    @Robin Cohen

    I express my outrage at the ballot box.

    Which explains this…

    @Robin Cohen:

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  72. sam says:

    @Robin Cohen: “But did she get any laws passed? Respect is a good thing BUT what has she done for the country in 30 years?”

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON

    • Wrote a section of the 2001 “No Child Left Behind” education law (PL 107-110) that authorized funding for recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and principals, citing a projected shortage of 2.2-million teachers by 2011.

    • Co-authored a 2003 law (PL 108-155) that compels drug companies to conduct pediatric safety tests when their products are prescribed for children. The measure strengthened an earlier law that awards manufacturers added patent protection, allowing them to market drugs exclusively for six additional months if they agree to test them for use on children as well as adults. The 2003 law bestowed the extra six-month extension even if the Food and Drug Administration orders the testing.

    • Worked with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to add language to a fiscal 2005 defense authorization bill (PL 108-375) giving military reservists and members of the National Guard access to the military’s Tricare health system even when they are not deployed. Previously, reservists only got covered while on active duty and for a limited time afterward. The measure came at a time when about 40 percent of U.S. forces in Iraq were reservists. Was enacted as law as part of a broader defense authorization bill.

    • Sponsored a 2005 bill to distribute flu vaccines more efficiently, which inspired similar provisions in a 2006 law (PL 109-417) promoting adequate vaccine production and stockpiles to improve the nation’s responses to public health emergencies.

    • Wrote a 2006 law (PL 109-442) providing grants to state and local governments to pay for respite care services for family caregivers. (Respite care is designed to give principal caregivers of sick or disabled individuals temporary relief in their caregiving obligations.)

    • Worked with Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-N.Y., to insert language in a fiscal 2007 defense authorization measure (PL 109-364) keeping the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station open at a time when the Pentagon was closing bases. The move saved 800 upstate New York jobs.

    Number of bills sponsored: 635

    Number of bills co-sponsored: 2,441

    Number of bills sponsored or co-sponsored that became law: 54

    Source

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  73. Pinky says:

    Robin – You’re not allowed to agree to disagree on this site, and you’re definitely not allowed to stray from the herd. There’s a big herd on the left, a small libertarian herd, and no one allowed anywhere else. Being “all over the map” is the worst crime on a blog. It’s like, I don’t know, individual thought or something.

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  74. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda: I thought about Ferraro and felt, yeah, for whatever reason, mostly timing, the electorate pretty much said she wasn’t viable.

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  75. steve says:

    I certainly won’t vote for her in the primary. I have no interest in maintaining the dynasties that have developed in our politics. No more Clinton’s or Bush’s. My big dilemma would come if she is put up against yet another awful HOP candidate, say Cruz or Rubio. Will just have to hold my boss and vote for her.

    Steve

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  76. Robin Cohen says:

    @anjin-san: Sorry. I am unable to connect to the link.

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  77. Robin Cohen says:

    @sam: Unfortunately you know more about her efforts than I do. It’s too bad these were not given more coverage in the media. However, I was not impressed by her 2008 campaign or her time as Secretary of State, not including Benghazi.
    By the time Bill left office I was tired of the Clinton family. I think she would be a great Supreme Court Justice but I still think there are better options for President.

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  78. Robin Cohen says:

    @Pinky: My political leanings are to the left. I haven’t voted Republican since Reagan BUT, since I have no party affiliation, I would consider doing so IF and only if there was a candidate I could support which is highly unlikely with the current state of the party. Not being allowed to agree to disagree is silly. I would rather that debate remain civil than get nasty. After 6 years on HuffPo, I’ve read MANY nasty comments to me and to others. There is no need for verbal abuse on this or any other similar debate site.

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  79. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Robin – You’re not allowed to agree to disagree on this site, and you’re definitely not allowed to stray from the herd.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  80. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    You’re not allowed to agree to disagree on this site, and you’re definitely not allowed to stray from the herd.

    You know what all of the Democrats in here are dying for? Disagreement from the right. But there is one catch – we want informed, intelligent disagreement. I think all of us would pay good money for an intelligent, reality based, vital Republican Party. The clown car posse is tired, and it is bad for the country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  81. wr says:

    @Pinky: ” There’s no incentive to voting for her, except, as Michael says, fear of being called bad names if you don’t.”

    Exactly. Oh, and thinking she’s the best of all the candidates running. But aside from that, no “incentive” at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  82. bill says:

    @anjin-san: we all know who was responsible for embassy security, and none are in congress. and none were responsible for offing their leashed leader prior to the chaos. like i said, she could have killed them herself (on camera) and people would still vote for her. they are that dumb/blind to reality.

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  83. anjin-san says:

    @bill

    Seriously dude, try and get some more neurons online before you comment.

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  84. @Pinky: “You’re not allowed to agree to disagree on this site,”

    This is just flat out false, expressing nothing but sour grapes. Please recite the number of messages of yours that have been removed for “failing to agree with the herd.”

    Maybe if you put forward policies which a majority could support you’d have better luck dealing with all these terrible liberals who make you do things you do not like to do, and type opinions into blogs that are not your own because you are afraid of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  85. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: We remember some of the “can’t lose”, “sure bet” candidates of the past: Gary Hart, Ed Muskie, Dewey, Eugene McCarthy, even John Edwards. They wound up in the wreckage yard. Anything can happen : scandals, economic downturn, price of gas skyrockets, foreign crisis, shortage of cigars.
    “I fell in to that burning ring of fire, I fell down, down, down and the flames got higher” (Cash)

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  86. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: (dearie–if anyone walks up to you and mumbles anything about zero-point energy, run far, far away. I take it that you were being facetious….)

    Zero-point energy is this decade’s perpetual motion device.

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  87. grumpy realist says:

    @Robin Cohen: It’s easy to see that you do not have a legal background…….

    If we’re going to shove anyone up there on the bench, let’s go for a Justice Posner.

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  88. Robin Cohen says:

    @grumpy realist: I don’t but I would rather see her on the SC than in the White House since the Far Right now dominates the Court. Who is Posner?

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  89. Blue States says:

    Oh yes, the Republicans are just salivating at the chops to see Hillary Clinton go down in defeat as they enter the voting booths in 2016 dressed to the nines dripping with expensive clothes and jewelry, however, the reality of it is that they will emerge from the voting booths with their pants down and needing fresh underwear after the elections.

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  90. al-Ameda says:

    @Blue States:

    however, the reality of it is that they will emerge from the voting booths with their pants down and needing fresh underwear after the elections.

    Republicans always soil their pants at the mention of a Clinton – I’ve already invested in dry cleaning futures.

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  91. Barry says:

    @Tillman: ” A Republican populist might attempt something similar. ”

    There is no such thing as a Republican populist, where ‘populist’ means ‘willing to take on the rich’.

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  92. Robin Cohen says:

    Good point, especially if you consider a Populist as one who sides with what the average individual wants and needs. Republicans, especially those on the far right, are all about restoring this country to the 1950’s-a largely White, single income, electorate with one car garages who believed that Father knew best. If it were up to them, women might still not be able to vote or, if they did, they voted for Father’s choice of candidate. Ignorance was bliss-not good in the 21st Century in the smart phone culture.

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