History warns presidents that second terms are never Sunday picnics, and the unfolding — exploding is more accurate — of the story of what really happened on a violent night in Benghazi, Libya, and the days that followed is Barack Obama’s introduction to his next four years. We probably ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Nearly everyone suspects that Mr. Obama, trying to avoid questions about the mishandling of Benghazi, was running out the clock, hoping to stumble past the election before being overtaken by facts and hard reality. Some of the congressional Republicans are talking bravely now about getting to the bottom of the sordid story, and the Democrats give every sign of attempting to squelch and evade: let’s move on, nothing to see here.
But maybe there is something to see. The press had no interest in the Benghazi story when it could have been the campaign show-stopper, but now some of stars of print and screen are slowly coming out of their self-induced coma. Sex makes any story irresistible, even to pompous hacks and blowhards. The resignation of Gen. David H. Petraeus was treated at first as driven by illicit and undisciplined passion to astonishing indiscretion, a good man seduced as men have been seduced since Eve tempted Adam with a Golden Delicious. Why else would a four-star general, the chief of the nation’s spies, correspond with his mistress by email? As juicy as all that is, the story is leading inevitably and inexorably back to Benghazi.