Here are my few, unbaked and cursory observations based on what I watched in the morning:
- Hillary Clinton looked fresh, physically fit, very much engaged, capable and as usual on top of her briefs. Medical rest seems to have helped here. (If nothing else, it sure seems to have given here enough time to prepare thoroughly for this testimony and to avoid a charged time frame earlier.)
- Lady politicians in West get an unfair advantage - to choose color of their full attire! Hillary had liberty to skip staple diet of American colors of Red, White and Blue and select 'black and green'; more matching to the Islamic region she has been talking about. Male politicians either choose white or light blue shirts. All that freedom Male Politicians get is about the color of their neck ties! Talking about building persona and media image, remember Hillary is from New York where Market Savviness and Media Image expertise is top notch in the world. I suspect one of those experts might have given those 'eye glasses' she is wearing. Those are helping her to project the image of a very studious government officer.
- I expected friendly questions from Democratic Senators, but they were essentially doing bit of hagiography of possibly future Democratic President. On the other hand I did not find early on Republican Senators doing that much 'pushing' at Hillary's testimony. We need Republicans doing their job of Opposition Party with more gusto. Sen. Johnson from Wisconsin - he was tough on Hillary and to an extent made her to yell; but still more has been left on table by Republican Senators. May be that is what they call the Hillary Magic and her very high popularity.
- The high point we all were waiting was Sen. McCain's questioning of Hillary. McCain made a good political case, but bit less on specifics. As a result Hillary simply mentioned about the disagreement and argued about how Congress short changed State Department on funding. On the other hand Sen. Paul simply had Tea Party broadside repeating 'leadership failure' without any surgical precision for questions on hand.
- Democratic Sen. Durbin gave the necessary opening for Hillary Clinton to lay down her argument about her possible presidential run.
- Early in the testimony I got the impression that she did push Susan Rice under the bus and to an extent Obama Administration too; though subsequently she came to the defense of Rice. It left more questions in mind and did not address doubts that Hillary essentially squeezed herself out of all this mess.
(Very rarely Senate Testimonies generate so much Media interest in today's broken Washington as most Americans have given up on all these spectacles going on in DC as a theater. All hearings are drama and that is good in some sense because that way Public gets involved. In Hillary's case, the drama is more captivating.)