Clinton Jumps on the Benghazi Grenade
CNN’s Elise Labott, traveling with Hillary Clinton in Peru, got the secretary of state to make news by stating the obvious: that she is ultimately responsible for the safety of U.S. diplomats.
There’s a bit of editorial slight of hand going on, because she the headline quotes her saying “I take responsibility” and then throws in “… for Benghazi” without quotes. So there may be less to this story than meets the eye. Without the full context of her remarks, it’s hard to say whether she was really taking the hit for the whole fiasco or not. (The AP has a slightly different version, as does Fox News.)
But hey, it’s close enough, and Clinton’s comments are obviously going to get wide play and will of course be instantly politicized — regardless of whether she’s merely doing the right thing, or whether she’s actually just shielding Obama from scrutiny ahead of Tuesday night’s debate, as some are already suggesting, or whether, as the conspiracy-minded would have it, she’s pulling some Machiavellian maneuver to appear like she’s taking responsibility only to make the president look bad and set herself up for 2016. (Clinton may have unintentionally set Obama up to be more directly attacked, by the way: Three Repubublican senators already have issued a press release saying that the president himself needs to take responsibility.)
Whatever the case, I want to make a couple points about how this Benghazi story is going down.