“With all due respect,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shouted at Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., at yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Benghazi, “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 they go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Yes, what difference does it make?

Was President Obama’s decision to go with a “soft footprint” in Libya the correct decision? Did it increase the chance that a tragedy like the killing of U.S. Ambassador Cris Stevens might happen? Was the Stevens killing just a freak occurrence due to a random YouTube video, or was the attack another piece of evidence that al-Qaeda is much, much stronger than the Obama administration and Secretary Clinton would like us to believe? Did the same terrorist militants that helped kill Stevens assist in the recent killing of 38 hostages in Algeria?

Hillary Clinton’s anger at being forced to answer any of these questions is completely understandable. She has been campaigning to become the first female President of the United States for over six decades now. The fact the first U.S. Ambassador to be killed in over 30 years happened on her watch cannot be allowed to get in her way.

Never mind that the State Department had $2.6 billion in unspent embassy security funds last year. Or that the 585 page 9/11 Commission report has a whole chapter on the perpetrators motivations. Hillary Clinton is running for office, for Pete’s sake, she can’t have the American people asking these kind of questions.

The 2012 presidential election is over. The 2016 Democratic primary is already upon us. It is pretty much guaranteed we will see video of Clinton’s, “What difference does it make?” outburst again soon.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: The most consequential election of 2012
Byron York: Republicans grapple with deep divisions, de-Romneyization, as RNC meets in Charlotte
Susan Ferrechio: Hillary Clinton takes responsibility for Benghazi mistakes
Charlie Spiering: Sen. Dianne Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban on Thursday
Tim Carney: Defense of abortion built on a foundation of lies
Phil Klein: Obama debases Jefferson’s words

In Other News
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The New York Times, Pentagon Is Set to Lift Combat Ban for Women: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said Wednesday.
The Washington Post, Gun control proposals could split President Obama, Harry Reid: The success of President Obama’s starkly liberal second-term agenda will rest largely on the shoulders of Senate Majority leader Harry M. Reid, who has been a rock-solid political ally and a valued legislative tactician for Obama during his first term.
The Washington Post, General Dynamics blames $2 billion loss on defense cuts: One of the nation’s largest federal contractors reported a $2 billion loss Wednesday and blamed it on defense cuts, a sign that the government spending that provided the rocket fuel for the metro area’s decade-long economic expansion is now dissipating.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Lawmakers move to change Va. electoral vote system: Virginia’s Republican-ruled legislature has taken the first steps toward ending the state’s winner-takes-all system of apportioning its 13 presidential electoral votes.
Lefty Playbook
Jonathan Chait on How Obama Can Have a Great Second Term
Michael Lind on Liberalism’s unfinished agenda
The New Republic‘s Tim Geithner exit interview.

Righty Playbook
Walter Russell Mead on the future of Blue America
John Merline notes that inequality has grown faster under Obama than it did under Bush.
John Fund says latest debt-ceiling deal is a hopeful sign for many conservatives