Mark January 23rd as the launch date for the news media’s fresh campaign to have Hillary Clinton replace Barack Obama in the Oval Office in 2017. ABC and NBC, and CBS to a lesser extent, on Wednesday night treated Secretary of State Clinton’s appearances before Senate and House committees not as an chance to explore Obama administration dissembling on Benghazi, but as an opportunity to boost Clinton’s supposed brilliant performance.
“The indignation. And then, the tears in her eyes,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer announced before trumpeting: “It was a valedictory that showed her indignation and emotion as she ends this tenure on the public stage. ABC’s chief global affairs correspondent, Martha Raddatz, brings us the riveting encounter today.”
An impressed Raddatz exclaimed: “What a way to end her four-year tenure as Secretary of State,” recalling how “a month ago, she was flat on her back with a nasty concussion,” but “today, this woman who has traveled the world as America’s top diplomat, came to the Hill ready for a fight.”
Raddatz touted: “It was a riveting drama. Secretary of State Clinton seen in rare public form, at times angry, aggressively on the defense. At another point, choking up over her four lost colleagues.”
Audio: MP3 clip
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams opened his newscasts by reciting Hillary Clinton’s achievements and popularity:
After four years in office, roughly a million miles flown, 112 nations visited, in the past few weeks alone, she has fought illness and injury, including hospitalization. She leaves her post as the most admired woman in the world in the Gallup poll, for the 11th year in a row. Well today, Hillary Clinton was under fire, and at times fired back.
Reporter Andrea Mitchell soon celebrated Clinton’s success: “Parrying hostile questions all day, Clinton was also the political pro. Massaging big egos, sidestepping attacks when she could. When she couldn’t, giving as good as she got.”
With “Last Stand” on screen, here’s how Sawyer framed the day in her World News tease:
SAWYER: Last stand. Secretary Hillary Clinton, filled with fiery emotion in her last appearance before Congress.
HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make?
SAWYER: The indignation. And then, the tears in her eyes.
CLINTON: I put my arms around the mothers and fathers and the wives left alone to raise their children.