How Benghazi will shape 2016 presidential race

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks with The Christian Science Monitor about how Benghazi will shape 2016 presidential race.

 By Linda Feldmann
Staff writer

Washington — The final report of the House Select Committee on Benghazi is out, and the news for Hillary Clinton is both good and bad. . . 

“The Benghazi report is still critically important to the true believers on the Republican side, who, no matter what, will believe that Hillary Clinton didn’t do everything she might have done” to save American lives, says Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

But for most voters, Benghazi is old news, and a complicated story that has been highly politicized by Clinton’s opponents. Questions raised by the episode about her honesty are already baked into voters’ assessments of her.

More important to her political future is the controversy that emerged from the Benghazi inquiry: the revelation that she used a private email server while secretary of State, potentially putting national security at risk.

“For those who believe that Hillary Clinton is fatally flawed, Benghazi was the repository for one’s presumptions,” says Mr. Jillson. “That’s now passing away and email is the current repository for those views.”

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