Hillary Clinton’s interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, the first TV appearance of her Hard Choices book tour, aired on Monday night, and Clinton came prepared with upbeat answers to a variety of awkward questions. She said she believes she lost in 2008 because “I really didn’t have a good strategy for my campaign. I didn’t plan it the right way,” but if she runs in 2016, “I would be working as hard as any underdog.” She added that she “was not as effective” at calling out sexism on the campaign trail, and when asked the sexist question du jour — whether she can be a grandmother and run for president — she noted that male politicians have been “fathers and grandfathers since the beginning of the republic.” Clinton even had a graceful Monica Lewinsky retort, saying she “would wish her well,” and hopes she’s able to “construct a life that she finds meaning and satisfaction in.” However, things got a bit more dicey when it came to Benghazi.
Clinton’s said of the 2012 attack that left four Americans dead, “I take responsibility, but I was not making security decisions.” She said she “would give anything on Earth if this had not happened,” and noted that “as the independent board that investigated every aspect of this, including all the cables, concluded, there was a lack of appreciation and response to the level of threat.” But she said “that was never brought to me,” and emphasized that she gave “very direct” instructions to security experts in the State Department. “I’m not equipped to sit and look at blueprints, to determine where the blast walls need to be or where the reinforcements need to be. That’s why we hire people who have that expertise,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t saying all the time, ‘We’ve gotta make sure we secure this spot and that spot.’ ”
She went on to describe the relentless criticism she’s received from congressional Republicans over the incident as a “diversion” from the “hard work that the Congress should be doing about the problems facing our country and the world.” And she said it wouldn’t dissuade her from running in 2016: “It’s more of a reason to run, because I do not believe our great country should be playing minor league ball. We ought to be in the majors.”
While her point about Benghazi could have been clearer, she’ll have many more chances to get it right. NBC News has already released the promo clip for its interview with the former secretary of State, in which she says Benghazi would be her one “do-over.”