It was odd to hear Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus complain yesterday that Hillary Clinton “is politics 24/7.” After all, “politics 24/7” is practically part of Priebus’ job description.
But this was even more brazen.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus argued Sunday that Hillary Clinton’s book rollout – including last week’s leak of the Benghazi chapter and her anticipated book tour – may … simply a strategic effort to make more money.The chapter, according to Politico, contained a defense of her response to the attack, as well as criticism of Republicans who Clinton says play politics with the deadly assault that killed four Americans. […]“I know publishers of the book create this environment to make a lot of money. That’s what Hillary Clinton is doing. She’s making a lot of money. She’s writing books. She’s doing speeches. All this talk helps her make money. As long as she’s making money, she’s going to keep this up,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
So, let me get this straight. Hillary Clinton wrote a book, which included a defense of her handling of the 2012 attack, responding to Republican condemnations. And far as Reince Priebus is concerned, the former Secretary of State’s principal motivation is getting richer?
One can expect a certain baseline shamelessness from the national campaign committees, but this is pretty audacious, even for Priebus. Republicans have spent the last 21 months exploiting the deadly attack in Benghazi for political cash and partisan gain, and now the RNC chair would have Americans believe Clinton only wrote about Benghazi to line her own pockets?
Let me put this another way: does anyone consider it plausible that it’s Clinton who wants to talk about Benghazi right now, or is it easier to believe that it’s Republicans – the folks who refuse to stop fundraising off Benghazi – who seem eager to keep the 2012 attack on the national front burner?
On the same Sunday show, Fox’s Chris Wallace asked a series of questions he probably knows the answers to, which seems to happen quite a bit on the right when it comes to Benghazi.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with asking questions. When four Americans are killed in an attack abroad, failing to ask questions would itself be a scandal. But once the questions have been answered, fully and accurately, it quickly becomes farcical for partisans to simply choose willful ignorance, pretending they’ve come up with new inquiries.
In related news, Secretary of State John Kerry last week took advantage of divisions among House Republicans, agreeing to testify before Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, but telling the new Republican Select Committee that this would be Kerry’s final testimony on the matter.
Late last week, Issa reversed course, no doubt under pressure from his own allies: “Republican Rep. Darrell Issa on Friday released Kerry from a subpoena for his testimony before the House Oversight Committee on June 12, making it increasingly likely the secretary of state will be grilled at a later date by a new House select committee chaired by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.”