Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held her final online Global Town Hall before leaving Foggy Bottom on Tuesday morning, and while she did answer some tough questions — and confirmed a new memoir! — there sure were a lot of Twitter questions from frustrated conservatives whose voices were left out in the video interview.
Clinton laughed off questions about a presidential run in 2016 — again — and said that she planned to write another memoir, presumably in her time off, but that she doesn't know "what I will say in it yet." Before all of that, though, she has to catch up on "about 20 years worth of sleep deprivation," she said.
The "townterview," as it was affectionately called by the State Department, featured six journalists from across the world asking Clinton about different issues relating to her soon-to-be-old job. (A Senate committee confirmed John Kerry as her replacement this morning, moving his confirmation to a full Senate vote.) People were also encouraged to ask questions using the #AskState hashtag, which was trending worldwide this morning, but more on that in a minute.
As for the important stuff: "We share Japan's concerns, and the concerns of the entire region," about North Korea, Clinton said at one point. Clinton said the U.S. is still hoping to find a way to calm the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and that she's disappointed Kim Jong-un's taking control of the country didn't bring about more substantial changes. As for the country's planned missile testing, "This is a threat to all of us," Clinton said. "We still hope there's a way to convince the North Korean regime not to take this path."
Clinton was also asked about U.S. sanctions on Iran, and how the Obama administration reconciles the political pressure with the hardships it puts on Iranian citizens who can't find food or medicine. Clinton said the Iranian government, unfortunately, doesn't leave the U.S. with much of a choice. "We know that there is a lot of support for terrorism," Clinton said. "We've tried diplomatic outreach," she said. President Obama came into office hoping to establish a dialogue with Iran, she insisted, but lamented that progress has remained relatively unsuccessful. But there's hope on the horizon for the the citizens of Iran: "We hope the Iranian people will speak out in the upcoming elections" and vote out the current regime, Clinton said.
The attacks on Benghazi finally came up when Clinton was asked what her biggest regret will be when she leaves her office on Friday. "The loss of American lives in Benghazi is certainly my lasting regret," Clinton said, salivating the mouths of right-wing pundits everywhere. Clinton also regrets not being able to do more about situations like what's happening in the Congo, what's happening in Syria, or even what's happening in Northern Africa. "The one thing about this job is you have to realize you can't control everything," she said.
Of course, there were a bunch of questions about Benghazi on Twitter, but none of them ever had a chance of getting through to the livestream. Conservatives had mobilized to try and bomb the State Department's hashtag. Here are some questions from Conservatives that Clinton didn't answer:
#AskState I'd like a career in apologizing to terrorists for American blasphemers. Can you recommend a good civil service test prep?— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) January 29, 2013
#AskState do you think there's any chance in hell we'll let you forget about Benghazi if you run in 2016? Answer: no, there isn't.— El SOOPer!! (@SooperMexican) January 29, 2013
#AskState Do you regret expolosive "what difference does it make?" outburst? Would you ask that same question to the parents of the fallen?— Erin Haust (@erinhaust) January 29, 2013
#AskState Thanks for "taking responsibility" for Benghazi. When do you start serving your sentence?— Lynn (@LynnLonden) January 29, 2013
#AskState hey, Hill. If I you don't think Americans need guns for protection, does that mean you will disarm your security team?— Jessica (@WithMe2TheMoon) January 29, 2013
Someday, their voices will be heard...