Contrasting these two exchanges becomes even more important if Hillary is the Democratic nominee in 2016. Assuming that reality comes to fruition, either Rubio or Paul could be the face of the Republican Party debating Clinton in four years. How did each Senator do while having the upper hand in today's Senate hearing?
Though Rubio asked relevant questions, he came across as rather dispassionate and gave Hillary plenty of room to give long, meandering answers. He did not stop her when she got off track. Rubio looked rather weak today. No presidential timber shown today.
How about Rand Paul? Arguably the best exchange of the day, though an argument could be made that Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) deserves that distinction. Two things stand out in Paul's exchange with Hillary.
- Paul stated clearly that if he were president during the Benghazi attack, he would have fired his Secretary of State.
- When Paul asked the Senator if the CIA Annex was being used as a hub for shipping weapons to Turkey "or any other country", Hillary told him to check with the CIA. Are we to believe that she didn't know the answer? Hardly. If the answer was no, there wouldn't be any harm in answering it. Not answering it at all only raises the legitimacy of the question.
If all of this was round 1 between Paul and Rubio, Paul won going away.