Hillary Clinton v Rand Paul: onward to 2016

We’re now back in the dualing Universes things, on the Benghazzi hearings.  Simply put, I think America is willing to accept a certain amount of mistakes and a certain amount of initial ass-coverings in the course of human events.  But partisans are watching, chaffing at the bit on this one, and, from my Internet forum-land I get a comment on the hoped for Impeachment of Obama.

Benghazi. I’m hearing heavy things from my “inside source” guy. It’s a far bigger deal than the media is projecting. The gun thing is mostly a diversion tactic. Lots of Water Gate type scrambling going on. The “White House tapes” may well be in the form of emails this time.

I’ll have to shift through the past to see what other items “Inside source guys” has given out in the past.  I don’t really believe in such a thing as “inside source guy” — Intelligence agencies are full of retired ideolouges.  From a political stand-point, I don’t think a President can be impeached without his  whatever controversy hypothetically taking him down being pulled down into the 30s… and you have to understand that the surest way to ensure a President’s approval ratings stabilize above that is to bring attacks to the level of partisan grand-stander.

Pushing all this aside, my big take-away comes from confrontations with… Rand Paul of Kentucky.  Rand Paul is Ron Paul if we remove the redeeming features.    Special to CNN, the author of a positive biography of Pat Buchanan sells it as a “Clash of the Titans”.

Given that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was participating, it felt at moments like an audition for 2016 — and Rubio’s staff put the video of his questions up on his website with remarkable speed.
But the most impressive performance by far was from Rand Paul. He delivered a cool, withering statement that climaxed in this devastating paragraph (and you have to watch it to get the full effect): “I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility. I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that. Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador (Christopher) Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”
This performance might be — and should be — remembered well by the Republican base when the primary campaign of 2016 starts. Ever since the last president election, Rand Paul hasn’t set a foot wrong. From his bridge-building visit to Israel to his opposition to the fiscal cliff deal, he seems well placed to become the tea party candidate.

I like the “have to watch it to get the full effect” line.  Yes, I see… a grand-standing clown… angling to win the hearts and fill joy in the likes of the author of a positive biography of Pat Buchanan.  And, for most of the rest, ending up closer to  “it wasn’t intimidating but funny” — better to say, an eye-roll.  But at least the “I would have relieved you of your post” has some logic in it, even if it’s transparent politicking.    But it gets a bit weirder from there… as Rand Paul goes into the conspiratorial tracks of the right and its echo chamber that hasn’t lept into the mainstream.

Paul, a new member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wasted no time in making a mark on the proceedings. After informing Secretary Clinton that he would have fired her for her role in the response to the attack, Paul came seemingly out of nowhere to ask Clinton about Turkey. “Is the U.S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?” he asked.
A clearly confused Clinton responded to the best of her ability. […]
 Clinton responded that Paul would have to take up his question with “the agency running the annex,” an oblique reference to the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency was operating out of the building in question. Paul’s inquiry about Turkey seems less odd if you’re familiar with Glenn Beck-inspired conspiracy theories that have been circulating among right-wing websites since the attacks in Libya.

Well… as Reason’s blogger puts it… Rand Paul vs. Hillary Clington — Campaign 2016 Begins?
And indeed, basically every article has to posit the possibility.  Even though… anyone out there really see Rand Paul winning the Republican nomination in 2016?

Actually I guess we can say this as a hypothetical across all the Senators on the committee.  Marco Rubio is the favorite, Rand Paul gets the chalk because he’s Paul, and we throw in Rob Johnson because he’s from Ohio and thus is a permanent vice-presidential candidate.

Here’s a Democratic Partisan’s reaction:  Hillary Clinton 69, Rand Paul 10.  Basically he’s assigning the favorable ratings of the Republicans in Congress and attaching it to Rand Paul.  Not really a decent exercise, but …

Y’know there are other candidates that might dig in on the Democratic nominating fight for 2016.  Take, for instance
Hm.   Why not?  After all, he’ll be the incumbent after this impeachment thing goes through.  Yep!  It’s all settled.  Joseph Biden v Rand Paul — a real corker will that 2016 Presidential race be.

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