The left is scared to death that its favored 2016 candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, could be on the ropes. Hillary's favorable ratings are down dramatically from when she left office -- in April 2013, her favorability rating stood at 56 percent, but by the end of October, it had dropped to 46 percent. Among independents that number dropped to 35 percent; Hillary even saw a dip of 12 points among Democrats, from 88 percent to 76 percent. Young people in particular are not pleased with the former First Lady -- just 38 percent view her favorably, while 53 percent view her unfavorably.
Benghazi happened. Since Clinton left office, the media finally found it safe to begin covering what happened in the months surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi terror attacks that resulted in the murder of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Whistleblowers like State Department employee and lifelong Democrat Gregory Hicks stepped forward. New memos entered the press. And Clinton, who oversaw a department that left Americans to defend themselves in one of the most dangerous places on the planet undermanned and largely unarmed, paid the price in polling.
Hillary's failures in Benghazi underscored her larger problem: Her tenure as Secretary of State was an enormous failure. Not one place on earth is now freer due to her tenure. Even her greatest proponents seem only to tout her frequent flyer mileage in her defense.
And so we've begun to see challenges to the anointed one from the left. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has been bandied about as a potential rival to Hillary in the 2016 primaries. Vice President Joe Biden has, too. So has former Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean. Hillary's star may be waning.
The proof of Hillary's Benghazi vulnerability lies in the desperate spinning of her action arm at Media Matters. Clinton was one of the founding forces behind Media Matters, a group designed to impede the efforts of media to hold the left accountable in any way. That's why founder David Brock and senior fellow Ari Rabin-Havt penned an e-book titled "The Benghazi Hoax," purporting to reduce the events in Benghazi to nothing more than a Black Swan attack, an unforeseeable tragedy exploited by the right for political gain. The e-book is weak. But the worry is real.
So, how can Hillary's supporters save her? Only by personally burying anyone in the mainstream media who attempts to report on what actually happened in Benghazi. That's why the left expended so much effort debunking an erroneous "60 Minutes" episode about Benghazi in which a purported witness to the events lied to CBS News. Catching lies is always worthwhile. But then the left went further, attempting to use those lies as an excuse to dismiss Benghazi as an issue altogether.
That will be the Hillary-left's strategy for the next several years: Dismiss Benghazi as a political witch hunt, as opposed to the demonstration of pusillanimous cowardice it was. The only way to save Hillary Clinton is to sacrifice those lost in Benghazi and to slander those who care about what happened there.