During the debate, Vice President Biden contradicted sworn testimony by State Department officials before the House Oversight Committee by stating that the administration was unaware of requests for additional security by diplomats in Libya. Yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to clarify those comments, and only seemed to put more distance between the upper echelons of the administration and Secretary Clinton:
The vice president was speaking about himself and the president, and the White House. He was not referring to the administration, clearly, since there was a public hearing for four-and-a-half hours where it was discussed openly by individuals working at the State Department, requests that were made. Obviously, he was referring to, he wasn’t talking about the administration writ large, he was speaking about the president, himself, and the White House.
The implication is clear: The secretary of State failed to keep the president informed of the situation on the ground in Libya. If there was a substantial threat to our mission there — and the hearings showed that our diplomats felt that was the case — one would think that the president would have been kept abreast of events in that war-torn country by his secretary of State.
Dare the president ask for Clinton’s resignation? Daily Caller:
But as for the chance that Hillary Clinton would resign, Klein said in the interview: “At this moment, it appears unlikely that she’s going to do that. I mean that would be an extreme step for her to take.”
“Not only would it be hard to predict how it would play out as far as Hillary is concerned in the future, but it would certainly damage Obama’s chances for re-election if she resigned,” he said.
The Clintons have shown an ability over the years to be very pragmatic when it comes to their personal political fortunes. Hillary’s acceptance of the cabinet position — despite her rage at Obama and many of his staffers following a bitter primary campaign — shows that she is perfectly willing to set aside personal feelings to advance her chances for the White House in 2016. Bill Clinton, doing all he can to assist his wife in her probable run for the White House, has also set aside his deep misgivings regarding the president’s abilities and the competence of his staff, and gave a rousing endorsement of Obama at the DNC. How must they both be feeling now that the Obama administration is carefully trying to side step responsibility for the Libyan attack by putting some of the blame on Hillary?
Again, it will depend on how big the issue becomes, but it would be extremely unlikely for Secretary Clinton to resign — or for the Obama White House to ask her to go. The downside for both principals makes a Hillary exit problematic for Obama’s present and for Clinton’s future.
But it is not likely that Hillary will step up and fall on her sword for the president either. Hence, his dilemma — a dilemma that will only be made more difficult if Benghazi continues to bedevil the campaign as an issue.