Her allies fault a rapacious, gaffe-obsessed media. Clinton insiders argue this is the unchained version of the former Secretary of State the press has urged on for decades.

“Be careful what you ask for because you might get it,” said one Clinton insider, pointing to the coverage of the cautious Clinton and saying this is what happens when a politician is candid. “Well, here you go, people. Buckle up.”

Still, this is hardly the first time Clinton has flashed irritation when confronted by unwelcome queries — it has happened frequently throughout her political career. Clinton has also shown some rustiness in the past after coming back from a hiatus from the media glare; her return to the public stage this week came after a year of very little questioning from the press.

“I’m someone who thinks that she’s very qualified to be president of the United States, in any number of ways, based on her experience. But at the same time … she’s got to be able to win the trust and admiration of all kinds of voters,” said Carl Bernstein, the ex-Washington Post reporter of Watergate fame who wrote a biography of Clinton called “A Woman in Charge.”