Daniel Klaidman has a feature looking inside the State Department during the Benghazi attacks.
Through it all, Hillary Clinton was a source of strength for her wounded department, employees say. She moved back and forth between public appearances and private internal diplomacy, showing her trademark combination of resolve, empathy, and hyper-competence. She began at State, looking drawn but determined, calling the events in Benghazi “an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world.” Later that morning she stood by President Obama at the White House, looking alternately stoic and stricken. Then the president and his secretary of state traveled to Foggy Bottom where they met with shocked employees. Those who saw Clinton in action this week say it was in the more private, intimate moments where she was at her best.I was a Hillary skeptic for many years and wrote about it often on this blog (example). I never disliked Hillary and never understood Republican hatred of her. I know Hillary personally and was just unconvinced that she could be an effective leader. Well, once again, I was wrong and happily stand corrected.
That day, Clinton called to console the grieving relatives of the victims, including Stevens’s sister and Smith’s wife. Later she held a video conference with the shell-shocked staff of the embassy in Tripoli. “It was tearful and incredibly moving,” according to one source who declined to provide further details out of respect for those who were still absorbing the trauma that had befallen their embassy. “But it was an inspirational moment that made me, once again, proud to work for Hillary.”
During the Bush years, when Democrats criticized Republican leadership, it always sounded like sour grapes. Now, with Democrats in charge, Americans can see Democratic leadership -- in the case of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- and it really does draw a stark contrast to the Bush administration. This week we saw what it means to be "presidential" and Mitt Romney has never looked so small or wanting.
|Hillary and I in happier times|