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Hillary Clinton to Benghazi Committee: You Are Boring the Hell Out of Me

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's signature during the Benghazi hearing is of her head in her hand, her eyes blinking slowly. She looks bored, and she also looks like she wants her interrogators to know she is bored.

The Benghazi hearing, like so many congressional hearings, is theater, meant to give members of Congress something to show their constituents in ads. All these guys can cut a video showing they really stuck it to Hillary Clinton, and Clinton can show her own supporters that in the face of Republican attacks, she was not bothered at all.

Clinton was not expected to say anything new at this hearing, and she hasn't. Instead, it’s a performance: that she cares very deeply about the people who died in Libya on September 11, 2012, and that she doesn’t care very much about an investigation that she believes—and which Representative Kevin McCarthy seemed to admit—is a Republican effort to hurt her presidential campaign. So she looks bored as she recites facts and times and dates while committee members present their theories of her incompetence or malfeasance.

Take, for instance, when committee chair Trey Gowdy hammered Clinton on the many emails about Libya that she got from longtime advisor (“old friend,” in her words) Sidney Blumenthal. After many questions about Blumenthal, Gowdy asked a question more than 400 words long, in which he quoted gossipy emails from Blumenthal about various Obama administration officials, and then said no wonder the White House rejected giving Blumenthal a job at the State Department in 2009, and then said Blumenthal had a gig with the Clinton Foundation and “some pseudo news entities,” and “he had unfettered access to you.” Breathe. “Do you recall that?” The camera cut to Clinton about 90 percent of the way through the question. It was a look of condescending patience. (Given the amount of time the hearing has spent on Blumenthal, you'd be forgiven for assuming he's an extremely important dude.)

Or there was this exchange with Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, in which Jordan argued that Clinton told America that the Benghazi attacks were inspired by an anti-Islam video but had admitted to the Egyptian prime minister that they were planned. Jordan’s question was about 330 words long. Clinton got out about 32 words in response—saying that she immediately called it an attack—and Jordan interrupted. Of course it’s an attack, he said.

We want to know the truth! The statement you sent out was a statement on Benghazi and you say vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material on the Internet. If that's not pointing as the motive of being a video, I don't know what is. And that's certainly what... and that's certainly how the American people saw it.

Jordan was angry. Clinton was bored.

When Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo repeatedly asked Clinton why, if she was so disappointed with diplomatic security in Libya, was no one held accountable? "How come not a single person lost a single paycheck, connected to the fact that we had the first ambassador killed since 1979?" Pompeo demanded. Clinton said that while some State staffers were found to have "not carried out their responsibilities adequately," the review board "could not find a breach of duty." Who cares what the review board did, Pompeo said, "I'm asking what you did." She replied, with the fakest, passive-aggressive smile, "I followed the law, congressman. That was my responsibility."

Soon after, Democratic Representative Loretta Sanchez aired a clip of Pompeo on Meet the Press claiming that Clinton "relied on Mr. Blumenthal for most of her intelligence." In the clip, journalist Andrea Mitchell interrupts to say she reports on the State Department, and that Pompeo's assertion was "just factually not correct." The split screen showed Clinton, in the hearing, laughing at the folly of her enemies.

Of course, how you see this clip depends on your politics. Many conservatives on Twitter saw it as evidence the libtard mainstream media is just a tool of the Clinton machine. Like any theater performance, not everyone in the audience roots for the same character.