The Evolution of the 'Angry Hillary' Meme

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She was all smiles before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to introduce Sen. John Kerry as her replacement today, but according to plenty of still-swirling reactions to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearance before before the group yesterday, Clinton looked like just like an angry, reactionary lady. And while she is still the foremost ambassador of the free world — at least for a couple more days — Clinton is still being chided from the left and right over the Benghazi testimony, and not just for her supposed "theatrics." That's what Rep. Ron Johnson called them on a radio show yesterday after this back-and-forth, setting the stage for a windfall to come, with narratives rolling into one another:

To recap, Clinton said: 

With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they go kill some Americans. What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from every happening again, Senator.

And yet somehow, the New York Post turned that response — and this great photo — into...

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Reaction No. 1: "That lady has some temper!"

Yes, that's the tag line in the inset box. Because, apparently, Secretary Clinton wasn't supposed to get emotional at the accusation of a cover-up.

Reaction No. 2: "She just decided before..."

After the "theatrics" response, Johnson (aka the man who prompted the moment above) kept up his defense of his line of questioning, as some sort of master-plan theory. He told Buzzfeed (below the temper-tantrum photo)L

I’m not sure she had rehearsed for that type of question…I think she just decided before she was going to describe emotionally the four dead Americans, the heroes, and use that as her trump card to get out of the questions... It was a good way of getting out of really having to respond to me. 

Reaction No. 3: "The Hillary Privilege"

Fox News contributor Monica Crowley riffed on the idea of Hillary "getting out" of things and  dubbed it "The Hillary Privilege." And she had no problem painting Hillary as hysterical:

She hyperventilated. She preened. She luxuriated in her faux outrage as she carpet-bombed them with her sanctimonious hectoring.

Crowley adds: 

The "Hillary Privilege" is a powerful thing, and don't think for a second that she doesn't know it.

None of these narratives, of course, seem to reflect the American public — which, as The Washington Post pointed out yesterday, love Clinton more than they ever have. But that also hasn't stopped the left and right from going with the whole "emotional" thing after Clinton teared up:

Kerry's confirmation hearing, meanwhile, is sure to be a non-confrontational lovefest.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.