A leader’s legacy is rarely dependent on a single event, regardless of how significant that event may seem at the time.
The continuing confidence that the American people have shown in Clinton’s leadership of the State Department reflects an appreciation of the overall record of success during her tenure, which saw the spread of democracy in North Africa during the Arab Spring and a general restoration of American prestige abroad.
But perhaps the strongest evidence that the Benghazi incident will not harm Secretary Clinton’s legacy is the decisive re-election of President Obama. If Benghazi wasn’t sufficient to prevent Barack Obama’s re-election, despite repeated attempts by the Republicans to make it an issue, it is hard to imagine that it would prevent Hillary Clinton from running in 2016 if she chooses to do so.
Clearly, there is still a significant level of support for Clinton throughout the country and, barring some unexpected revelations in the future there is little reason to expect that support to diminish due to the Benghazi attacks.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jim Cottrill is an assistant professor of political science at Santa Clara University. Readers may write to him at SCU, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. 95053.
This essay is available to McClatchy-Tribune News Service subscribers. McClatchy-Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of McClatchy-Tribune or its editors.
© 2013, The Heritage Foundation
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