Biden Libya debate claim throws Hillary Clinton under the bus
posted at 11:52 am on October 13, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
The initial read on the vice presidential debate was that the normally gaffe-prone Joe Biden escaped the 90-minute exchange without a forced error. On closer inspection, it appears that he may have had at least one potentially troublesome misstep. When moderator Martha Raddatz questioned him about the unanswered plea for an enhanced security presence at the Benghazi consulate, Biden responded, “we weren’t told they wanted more security there.” His response, if it is to believed (big if), effectively shifts blame away from the White House—and toward the State Department.
On Friday, Press Secretary Jay Carney found himself in the unenviable position of having to double down on this position, which he does in this video clip of the daily White House press briefing. When FOX News’s Ed Henry asked Carney whether he would say that “on Libya the buck stops with the State Department,” Carney argued, “There are countless [diplomatic] facilities around the world,” seeming to suggest that the job of keeping track of consular requests is simply too much for any one president. (For the record, the embassy page of the State Department’s website lists a total of 317 embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions worldwide, but who’s counting?)
In essence, the administration is now throwing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton under the bus, prompting this speculation by Mickey Kaus:
Will Hillary now retaliate and protect herself by leaking word that the White House did too know? Will her husband continue to tour the country trying to pull Obama’s bacon out of the fire (as he did at the convention) even as Obama points a finger at his wife? Will they all cut some sort of deal in which Hillary agrees to take the fall and Bill soldiers on … in exchange for, what? Have they already cut a deal? Is the White House going to try to hang its hat on the idea that Obama and Biden didn’t know, but maybe their staffs knew? Will that really fly? Aren’t they responsible for their staffs? Will the staffs fight back?…
The question about Clinton loyalty is the most intriguing one. A number of analysts have observed that the president’s post-DNC bounce was in no small measure was a function of Bill Clinton’s convention speech. But Bubba’s relationship with Obama is a troubled one. During this campaign season the former president has already given aid and comfort to the enemy by declaring at the height of the Obama campaign’s attack on Bain that Mitt Romney “had a sterling business career” and that he “crosses the qualification threshold” for president.
The overarching question is whether the cover the administration is receiving from liberal bloggers in re damning testimony before the House Oversight Committee will be sufficient to deflect criticism. Stay tuned.
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