IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Benghazi hearing proved Hillary Clinton a 'formidable' presidential candidate: Analyst

Political commentators assess Hillary Clinton's performance at the congressional hearing into her role in the Benghazi attacks on the U.S. compound.
/ Source: TODAY

With pressure and momentum growing, Hillary Clinton survived the latest test of her presidential run, emerging relatively unscathed after a grueling day-long showdown with Republicans over Benghazi, political analyst and MSNBC contributor Nicolle Wallace said Friday.

“The truth is, and what Republicans have to process now, is that she has not only survived all of those pretty big tests, she has proven herself an incredibly disciplined, an incredibly tranquil and a formidable presidential candidate,” Wallace said on TODAY.

Clinton spent all day Thursday before a House committee investigating whether she did enough to prevent the attacks in Libya against the U.S. compound in Benghazi. Four Americans died in the attacks, which occurred under her watch as secretary of state. While lawmakers engaged in a shouting match with each other, Clinton kept her cool throughout 11 hours of testimony.

The hearing showed how skilled Clinton can be in confrontational moments, said political commentator Steve Kornacki, who was reminded of Clinton's performance in the 2008 presidential race, where she engaged in more than two dozen debates against then-candidate Barack Obama.

MORE: Hillary Clinton grilled during marathon 11-hour Benghazi hearing

Hillary Clinton
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

“In these settings, sort of adversarial settings — a debate, a hearing, something like that, Hillary Clinton really is quite good,” he said.

Although Clinton lost the race to Obama, she performed remarkably well face-to-face during the debates.

“She won just about every one of them," he said. "The thing that has always been the problem for her is, when she has that one moment she trips up, it becomes big, and there was no big moment where she tripped up yesterday."

Instead, Republicans failed to produce new evidence or other kinds of information that tainted Clinton, he said. However, she still faces an ongoing investigation email investigation. Clinton’s use of a private server is being examined by federal authorities and "that issue of honesty still lingers for her,” Kornacki said.

Wallace agreed.

“The public, by and large, even people who like and support her, still thinks she has a squirrelly relationship with the truth,” she said.