Wednesday morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in what was expected to be a heated affair.
She was there to testify about the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead on September 11, 2012.
For the most part, Clinton didn't miss a beat. Senators came at her over the timeline of events, whether there was enough security, why different versions of events kept coming out, and more. She parried every attack with at times defiance, smirks, and talking points.
The most heated moment of the hearing came in a response to Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who was dogging Clinton about whether there was any protest actually occuring at the time of the assault on the consulate. Clinton slammed him for focusing on whether there was or was not a protest rather than on the dead American lives and the improvements they needed to make to ensure that it never happens again.
"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk at night who decided to kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again," said Clinton.
The next most memorable exchange was between Clinton and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Paul blasted Clinton for not being in the loop with what was going on in Benghazi before and during the attack. "If I had been president...I would have relieved you of your post," he said.
Paul noted that Clinton's departure from the State Department was in some ways an admission of her "culpability" over what happened in Benghazi.
Another flash point in the hearing was John McCain's back and forth with the secretary of state. For months he had been on talk shows decrying the State Department and administration for what he felt were misleading statements and general ineptitude. He used his question time to make some bold statements.
"Let's avoid turning everything into a political football," said Clinton.
The only moment when Secretary Clinton showed a soft spot was in her prepared remarks on the incident. When describing the tragedy that befell Ambassador Stevens, she showed the kind of sadness and remorse that apparently even practice couldn't dampen.