Inevitable: New Hillary ad stars ... Kevin McCarthy

It’s not just Hillary Clinton’s new national ad, it’s her first national TV spot. In “Admit,” Team Hillary focuses on Kevin McCarthy’s remarks about the impact of the Benghazi Select Committee on Hillary’s polling numbers:

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is seeking to capitalize off of Republicans’ comments linking her political performance with the House committee investigating the 2012 violence in Benghazi, Libya.

A new ad released by the campaign on Monday evening features a clip of No. 2 House Republican Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) giving the special House panel credit for damaging her poll numbers.

The 30-second spot is the first one that the campaign is running nationally on cable television, underscoring the political gold mine that Clinton’s team senses in McCarthy’s comments.

“The Republicans finally admit it,” a male narrator says in the video, before a clip of McCarthy’s comments.

We all knew this kind of argument would be made, but why make it in the very first national ad buy? Usually that gets used to introduce a candidate, to allow her to define herself. This only defines Hillary as a victim, and an ersatz one at that. McCarthy’s comments aside, the FBI probe into exposure of classified material through the secret Hillary server isn’t a partisan witch hunt. The decisions and policies that led to the deaths of four Americans have never been fully explained either — certainly not in that shameful whitewash provided by the laughably named Accountability Review Board, which never had access to those e-mails from Hillary and her team.

Of course, Hillary needs no introduction after nearly a quarter-century on the national stage, but that’s also a curious point. Her track record shows that she didn’t need the select committee to end up with bad favorability numbers in this election. Why not spend the money on trying to shore up her image with a soft-focus summation of her most appealing aspects?

I suspect the answer to that question is in the intended audience of this ad. It’s not independents or Republicans, but Democrats. Hillary’s risk right now is with her own party and its voters, who are looking for alternatives to the disaster her candidacy has become. That’s why she wants to lead off as a victim of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Mark IV — to shame them into rallying to her defense and abandoning the myriad of better options. Well, er, a couple of options that are marginally better, anyway. Will it work? At this point, the VRWC victim card may be all she has left.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on February 04, 2023