News / USA

Republicans Target Hillary’s Health, Benghazi

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks to a group of supporters and University of Miami students at UM in Coral Gables, Fla., Feb. 26, 2014
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks to a group of supporters and University of Miami students at UM in Coral Gables, Fla., Feb. 26, 2014
Is this how it’s going to be for the next two-and-half years?

Republican strategist Karl Rove’s decision to raise the issue of Hillary Clinton’s health at a political conference signals a possible new line of attack on the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016.
 
Rove’s comments, reported beneath the scintillating The New York Post headline, raised the specter of “brain damage” in the wake of Clinton’s December 2012 fall at her Washington home that resulted in a concussion.

“Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury?" he told the audience. "We need to know what’s up with that.”
 
Nevermind that Clinton spent only three days in the hospital and has said she won’t even decide on a White House run until later this year or early next, the Rove comments seem to signal a Republican effort to soften her up early.

It seems as though the time has come to “let the games begin.”
 
Outraged Democrats jumped all over Rove's comments, the general tenor of which he later defended on Fox News.

“I didn’t say she had brain damage," he told viewers. "She had a serious health episode. This will be an issue in the 2016 race whether she likes it or not.”
 
Known as former President George W. Bush’s lead political strategist in both presidential victories — even Bush referred to Rove as “the architect” of his 2004 re-election — some analysts believe Clinton is already polling so strong that various Republican operatives will try multiple lines of attack to see if they soften her up well before the 2016 primaries begin.

During a recent Washington appearance, former President Bill Clinton chuckled when asked about the episode.

“Now they say she has really got brain damage?" he said. "If she does then I must be in really tough shape because she is still quicker than I am.”
 
Hillary Clinton made no mention of the issue when speaking to the Washington-based New America Foundation on Friday.
 
More to come
 
The attacks on Hillary Clinton are no surprise to veteran Democratic strategists Celinda Lake, a pollster for Bill Clinton and an enthusiastic backer of his wife.

She says those surrounding the likely 2016 candidate harbor no illusions about what to expect if she decides to make a White House bid.

“Just as people were unbounded in their commentary about Obama, they will be unbounded in their commentary on her and she’s tough enough," said Lake. "She can take it. She’s taken it for years.”
 
Another issue you can expect to hear a lot more about is the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, died.

House Speaker John Boehner recently announced the formation of a special House committee to look into the Benghazi attacks and many Democrats expect Republicans will try to use it to raise questions about Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
 
Republicans have long charged that the Obama administration was slow to acknowledge that the Benghazi incident was a terrorist attack because it came in the midst of the president’s 2012 re-election campaign, a charge the president rebuffed in one of his debates with Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
 
But the issue lived on, and Clinton, recovering from her fall, was still defending her handling of Benghazi during the famously heated 2013 Senate hearing that saw a line of tough questioning from Republicans.

“Was it because of a protest or was it because guys were out for a walk one night and decided to go kill some Americans?" she told Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis. "What difference at this point does it make?”
 
No stranger to Republican attacks, Clinton, during her time as first lady, took a lot of heat for her husband’s initial health-care reform proposal in 1993 and 1994.

Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion analyst for the American Enterprise Institute, said Clinton will likely be well-prepared for a barrage of Republican salvos should she decide to run in 2016.

“There is a base of opposition to Hillary Clinton," she said. "It is part of the Republican conservative base and that is not inconsequential but I think she looks like a pretty strong candidate at this point.”
 
Still the frontrunner
 
Public opinion polls show Clinton a strong favorite for the Democratic nomination in two years.

She continues to swamp Vice President Joe Biden and other less well-known potential contenders like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

In addition, recent surveys show her defeating any number of potential Republican candidates including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a favorite of mainstream Republican activists who are pushing him to get into the race.

Like Clinton, Bush says he will make a decision on a White House run some time after this November’s congressional elections.

George Washington University political scientist John Sides said Clinton looks to be in a strong position.

“Really the race is hers if she wants it," he said. "I don’t have any insight into her mindset about it right now. But she is quite strong and I think it would be difficult to imagine any other Democrat emerging as a serious challenger.”
 
The Hillary-2016 speculation will ramp up in a big way in just a few weeks. "Hard Choices," her memoir on being secretary of state, will be published next month, which she'll be likely to discuss in TV interviews.

But try as she might to turn the conversation back to her time as secretary of state, it’s certain she’ll be asked over and over again if she has any future political plans.

Democrats and Republicans will be, as they say, “all ears.”

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mrs. Eructation from: That's my business!
May 16, 2014 4:55 PM
Time does have a way of revealing the truth of the matter, and the slow drip of Benghazi revelations will only increase until the midterm elections. Because Ms. Clinton has not come clean since the very beginning, she now sits in a very awkward and vulnerable position. How so?

Any political pundit would objectively observe that Ms. Clinton, based on all the information that is available in the public domain, appears to be guilty of criminal neglect in her capacity of Secretary of State. That verdict is based on the fact that the predicament was allowed to occur in the first place. Simply put, a US Ambassador’s many solicitations for protection were ignored by his boss in DC.


“When you read the various pieces and bits of information she received in the weeks and months prior to the attack, it is hard to see how they could have been any more blunt or explicit in warning of the likelihood of future terror attacks in Benghazi.”[1]

Someone going even so far as to order available units to stand down makes this situation even worse.

Of course, the cover-up is where things have really gotten messy for Secretary Clinton. Which is why her Republican inquisitors are so determined to get to the bottom of things. They can only tolerate so much obfuscation, non-compliance and irresponsible behavior on the part of the White House before the American people start to call them on it. The longer this whole sordid affair drags on, the worse it’s going to be for everyone involved in the Obama Adminstration, especially Hillary Clinton.



As an aspiring presidential nominee, candidate Clinton will necessarily be held up to a much higher standard than she has been in her previous roles. Her stint at State is the only one she can point to as demonstrating her abilities to handle foreign affairs. In light of President Obama’s string of foreign affair fiascos, she will be hard-pressed to bring the necessary gravitas to the role of president in this particular regard.

Even for diehard Democrats, there is the distinct sentiment that Ms Clinton is not up to the task. Her responses to so many challenges, both personal and political, over the years reveal a woman who is often petty, vindictive and unaccountable. Truly, her place in the White House is as an ex First Lady who gave it her best.



Ms. Clinton ought to look at the Benghazi hearing as an opportunity to listen to the many reasons she should not even consider running for president. Undoubtedly, she will hear things that will embarrass her and her office at State. Truly, so many things happened that should not have under her watch. Just as many things did not occur in Benghazi that should have for the protection of four Americans who died.



Subsequent attempts to acquire pertinent correspondence from the White House about the Benghazi attack and US Government response have been met with continual stonewalling and denial.
At the end of the day, both Secretary Clinton and President Obama will be held directly responsible for this cover-up, as well as the obvious negligence up to and including the attacks. Each ought to be held accountable for their actions by the Congress and the Mainstream Media (MSM). Unfortunately the MSM has both supported Secretary Clinton’s narrative and enabled her reprehensible conduct at every turn.

However, with the midterm elections around the corner pointing to a GOP landslide, the political chessboard is about to be rearranged in a way that will not bode well for Candidate Clinton.
The question remains: Does Hillary Clinton understand that the powers that be are using the Benghazi Commission to send her a message? Perhaps she will get it before her first answers are rendered before a congressional inquiry that promises to be bigger and badder than Watergate. How do you spell C O V E R – U P ?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs