The Republican candidates for the White House were hoping for a slip-up from Hillary Clinton. They had been warned: Destabilizing the likely Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential election will not be easy. This includes trying to destabilize her in relation to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012 and the private email controversy, her two main handicaps.

With the exception of a few smiles, rare moments of emotion and a coughing fit, the former secretary of state withstood the Republicans’ interrogation Thursday. For almost nine hours, the former first lady yielded to questions from members of the congressional commission created last year to shed light on the Benghazi affair.

That day, Islamic extremists had targeted the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city, killing four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Convinced that the Obama administration has tried to conceal its negligence and the seriousness of this attack in order not to jeopardize the president’s re-election, the Republicans were hoping to push Hillary Clinton into making a mistake. For the Democrats, it was all about attacking the credibility of the select committee, presenting it as a political weapon aiming to demolish Clinton’s candidacy. All the same, the latter looked to be in difficulty when Republican Jim Jordan accused her of lying about the nature of the attack and al-Qaida’s involvement in it for political reasons.

Emails and phone calls seem to show a time delay between the authorities’ public declarations and Clinton’s private conversations, in particular with her family and the Egyptian prime minister. “We were receiving a lot of information at the same time, which we were trying to understand,” she struggled to explain.*

She also spoke of her “distress” and the doctors’ unsuccessful attempts to “resuscitate” her friend Chris Stevens, explaining the "pain” she felt at the accusations of negligence, her voice shaking with emotion.*

Finally, this hearing will strengthen the certainty in the minds of American citizens who are tired of the political paralysis in Washington — and of whom only 12 percent have a positive image of Congress.

*Editor’s Note: The quotations in this article, accurately translated, could not be verified.