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Hillary Rodham Clinton

SHE was combative. Her voice cracked with emotion. She slapped the table to make a point. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was a force of nature after being dragged before the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to explain her actions and decisions leading up to the deaths of four Americans during an attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans," she told her inquisitors, raising her voice and waving her arms. "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?"

Not bad for a woman who collapsed and was hospitalized for complications after a concussion just weeks before.

In her last formal testimony before Congress as America's top diplomat, she spoke like a politician who had nothing to lose -- or everything to gain. America is going to need a new president in four years, and after Clinton's performance before Congress, it's a pretty good bet her hat will be in the ring.

"It's wonderful to see you in good health and combative as ever," said Sen. John McCain as he began his questioning.

Yes, and she is just getting started.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2013 0

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