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Republicans Should Watch 11 Hours of Video Showing a Healthy Hillary Clinton Kicking Their Asses

August 24, 2016

And now some helpful advice for Republicans pretending to diagnose Hillary Clinton by video: it won't go well for you. Back in the spring of 2005, Senate Majority Leader and physician Bill Frist (R-TN) told his assembled colleagues that he disagreed with Terri Schiavo's doctors that she had suffered massive, irreversible and permanent brain damage.

"I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office," he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medical texts and standards. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."

Frist, who just four months earlier tried to defend the notion that HIV/AIDS could be transmitted by tears and sweat, was rightly mocked at the time. Ultimately, Schiavo's autopsy confirmed her doctors' assessment, leaving Bill Frist's presidential ambitions in a permanent vegetative state.

But the Republicans now preposterously claiming that Secretary Clinton is suffering from seizures, Parkinson's disease, dysphasia, aneurysms, stroke, brain cancer and radiation poisoning don't need to go back to March 2005 to relive their humiliation. As it turns out, a quick review of the events of October 22, 2015 is more than sufficient to dispel GOP myth-making about Clinton's health. That was the day, after all, in which Clinton showed plenty of "mental and physical stamina" in smacking down the GOP-controlled House Benghazi Committee.
But you don't have to take the word of Clinton allies after her 11 hour testimony that "the woman has amazing endurance" and "she answered every question with the grace and a commanding knowledge of a true leader." Headlines like "Conservative Pundits Were Not Impressed with the GOP's Disastrous Benghazi Hearing" and "Benghazi Bust" and "The Conservative Reviews Are In: Benghazi Hearing a Bust summed up the frustration, exasperation and desperation who watched a patient, prepared and powerful Clinton outperform and outsmart Rep. Trey Gowdy's (R-SC) daylong inquisition. As right-wing columnist Byron York lamented:

There's a reason Benghazi Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy offered Hillary Clinton the chance to testify in a private, closed hearing. And there's a reason Clinton wanted to appear in an open setting, with the whole world watching.

Writing in Bloomberg News, Sahil Kapur reported, "Some of Hillary Clinton's top critics say she won the day." Dick Cheney hagiographer and 9/11 fabulist Stephen Hayes criticized the work of Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), grumbling that his "second round of questioning was snarky in tone and ineffective in substance." New York Post columnist and former Reagan speechwriter John Podhoretz tweeted his outrage over Clinton's clear triumph:

Matt Lewis, whose Daily Caller recently published a piece titled "We Ran Hillary Clinton's Symptoms Through WebMD And The Diagnosis Isn't Pretty," reached a different conclusion after the Democrat shredded Gowdy's Committee on October 22. "Unless something happens," Lewis tweeted at 12:18 PM that day, "it's starting to look like Hillary Clinton won't merely survive this hearing -- she will have come out on top." Just two minutes later, he moaned that:

Ever since the McCarthy gaffe, everything has worked out for Hillary (debate, Biden, & now this hearing). She even seems more likable now.

For his part, Rush Limbaugh chalked up Clinton's marathon mauling of Committee Republicans to, wait for it, a media conspiracy.

All of this has been a media hype for the express purpose of when it's over being able to claim that the Republicans did not land a glove on Mrs. Clinton. That she showed up and that she looked good and that she was composed and that she triumphed over this, and the Republicans weren't able to do a thing about it. That is the objective. That is the script.

If that was Limbaugh's fear, it was--to borrow a GOP talking point--mission accomplished. As Politico concluded in an article titled, "Clinton emerges stronger for next phase of campaign":

Following her debate performance, the Benghazi hearing marked the second time in recent weeks that she made a difficult task look easy.

It's no wonder former GOP Congressman turned MSNBC host Joe Scarborough agreed that the hearing was "a TKO for Hillary Clinton. It wasn't even a close call."
For his part, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani reached a different conclusion after Clinton's October 22, 2015 appearance before the House Benghazi Committee. Clinton, he declared, was either "incompetent or lying." Regardless, the former prosecutor charged, "this seals the case."
But now, almost 10 months to the day that Hillary Clinton easily withstood hour after hour after partisan probing and two months since the House Benghazi Committee produced the 8th report finding no wrong-doing on Clinton's part, Giuliani is pressing a new case:

"I think Hillary's tired...She looks sick," Giuliani said Monday on Fox News. The day before, he urged viewers of a separate Fox interview, "Go online and put down 'Hillary Clinton illness.' Take a look at the videos for yourself."

My advice: go online to C-SPAN instead and watch the videos of Hillary Clinton's performance at that Benghazi Committee hearing. After all, her testimony that day is one example of why her presidential prospects seem very healthy, indeed. As for Chairman Gowdy or Mayor Giuliani, theirs have fallen into a persistent vegetative state.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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