Republicans have been working tirelessly to associate Clinton with the Benghazi tragedy. Association is a powerful tool. It doesn’t require facts, only frequent juxtaposition. Once a pairing becomes familiar, it feels like fact. People can’t distinguish between familiarity and accuracy.
McCarthy’s bragging about the political intent of the House Special Committee on Benghazi and its impact on Clinton’s poll numbers has given her an opportunity. McCarthy’s misstep allows Clinton to change the association. Instead of associating Clinton with the tragedy, the story now is the link between Clinton and a partisan political witch-hunt against her.
This ad works to reinforce that story and further tries to connect the Benghazi committee to an assault on universal healthcare and equal pay for women. If Clinton can redefine attacks on her as attacks on the middle class, she can make Bengazi work for her rather than against her.
With this ad, Clinton has begun talking about what people want rather than talking about who she is. That makes for a more interesting ad and might get people to pay attention. However, her ads still should add some warmth and humanity to her competence.