8:53am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:22 am

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

Afterward, Johnson said he thought Clinton was engaging in some "theatrics." Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who comes from the liberal side of things, saw things differently: "The outgoing secretary of state served up a potent brew of righteous outrage." On CBS This Morning today, Post columnist David Ignatius said Johnson may have been one of the first of a series of Republicans to go after Clinton because she could be a Democratic presidential contender again in 2016.

As we reported Wednesday, when Johnson pressed Clinton on what the administration knew about the attack and when it new it, the secretary showed some anger as she said:

"The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again. senator."

Thanks to C-SPAN's video library, we've made two clips of the exchange Clinton had with Johnson. One, which lasts 2 minutes, 25 seconds, gives a broad sense of the conversation that led to her animated comments. And here's a shorter version that focuses on the sharpest part of the exchange.

Clinton, as you're probably aware, is soon stepping down. President Obama has nominated Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be her successor. Today at 10 a.m. ET the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations — same committee that held Wednesday's hearing — holds its confirmation hearing for Kerry.

Kerry, the committee's chairman, will not be presiding over his own nomination hearing. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., will be in the chairman's seat. It's expected that Kerry will face little opposition in the Senate.

He's to be "introduced" at today's hearing by Secretary Clinton.

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