“She’s running,” CNN’s John King declared after Hillary Clinton’s town hall Q&A on his network this afternoon, part of a media tour purporting to be about her new book, Hard Choices. “Her decision is whether to stop running,” he snarked. “Right now – she’s running.” Clinton, however, said — stop us if you’ve heard this one before — she hasn’t yet made up her mind.
King said he did “not learn a tremendous amount new” from the Q&A, while Christiane Amanpour, who’d done the Clinton interview, did her best impressive imitation of a journalist who was not mulling how to hit King with a blunt instrument. King gave Clinton props for not filibustering and answering questions quickly and clearly so as to tackle a “diversity of questions.” Jake Tapper agreed, noting the town hall setup had quacked like a political campaign format.
Extra points if you guessed both the CNN town hall, and Clinton’s grilling at Fox News Channel that followed, would begin with questions about the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya. On CNN it took the form of Amanpour asking Clinton whether, in retrospect and “knowing what you know now”, she would have wanted Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attack, to be in Libya on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. “Would you have told him not to go to Benghazi on that day, of all days?” Amanpour asked, as though it was not a rhetorical question.
Later in the day, Clinton came in for eight minutes more of Benghazi questioning at the hands of FNC’s Bret Baier, who wondered why it took the government so long to arrest Ahmed Abu Khattala, the attack’s “mastermind”, when he had been “hiding in plain sight,” as evidenced by the various news outlets that had interviewed him not long after the attack. Baier then plowed through questions about the hours and the days following the Benghazi attack. After playing along for a while, Clinton suggested Fox News viewers who still have “a lot of questions” about Benghazi check out the State Department website, where they can read the unclassified version of the Accountability Review Board findings..
When the dust settled, Clinton emerged with mostly good marks for the important back-to-back interviews. Ironically, same cannot be said of Baier and his FNC interview partner Greta Van Susteren, who got blasted by some of the more exuberant tweeters at #HillaryFox News — which FNC set up for conversational purposes — for allowing Clinton to walk away from their Q&A with no loss of blood.
Here are some examples, followed by clips from Clinton’s CNN and FNC interviews:
— Carl Quance (@CinderellaMan2) June 18, 2014
— Felix Goodfellow (@russfelix) June 18, 2014
— Dennis Kauka Jr (@denniskjr) June 18, 2014
Clinton on CNN, Benghazi:
Clinton on CNN, Iraq:
Clinton on CNN, Syria:
Clinton on CNN: Immigration:
Clinton on CNN: Gun Violence
Clinton on CNN: Putin
Clinton on CNN: Pot
Clinton on Fox News Channel: