Trey Gowdy’s House Select Committee to Smear Hillary Clinton backfired, according to a new poll. Also, President Obama mocked the Whiny WHannabes. (More)

“Republicans continue to hold onto it”

It was such a simple, foolproof plan. Make Hillary Clinton to testify in private for the House Select Committee – just as they demanded for her aides – then leak selected quotes to the stubbornly gullible media.

Clinton threw the first monkey wrench in that plan when she demanded to testify in a public hearing to be broadcast live on CSPAN. But Republicans were still sure their plan would work. Just badger her about urging President Obama to topple a dictator and Sidney Blumenthal and who did or didn’t have her private phone number or visit her house … and she’ll self-destruct on nationwide TV.

Eh, not so much. Even conservatives admitted that House Republicans’ ridiculous questions “could make you feel sorry for Stalin.”

And a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that voters agree:

Hillary Clinton has put to rest many voters’ questions about her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted after her 11-hour appearance before a House investigative panel last month.

The number of people who are unsatisfied with her response to questions on the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound dropped to 38% in the poll, from 44% in a poll taken before she testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Oct. 22.The new poll found Republicans’ opinion remained largely unchanged, but among Democrats and swing voters, there was a significant rise in satisfaction with Mrs. Clinton’s response.
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The new poll conducted after the House hearing found the share of Democratic primary voters who were satisfied with Mrs. Clinton’s response rose to 72%, from 58%. The impact was not just among diehard partisans: Among people identified as swing voters, satisfaction jumped to 23% from 6%, while dissatisfaction dropped from 84% to 40%.

But the issue continued to rankle Republicans, as only 7% were satisfied with Mrs. Clinton’s response – about the same amount as before the hearing.

For Democrats, the hearing “helped put this issue in the rearview mirror,’’ said Micah Roberts, a GOP pollster who helped conduct the survey, “while Republicans continue to hold onto it.”

The post-hearing poll found an increase – from 36% to 40% – in the share of people who thought the committee investigation was “unfair and too partisan.” The share who viewed it as “fair and impartial” dropped slightly, from 29% to 27%.

Yet somehow NBC News reports that as bad news for Clinton:

Hillary Clinton has increased her dominant lead within the Democratic Party’s presidential contest, now besting rival Sen. Bernie Sanders by a margin of two to one among primary voters in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. But the Democratic front-runner remains unpopular with the general electorate, and fewer than a third of Americans give her high marks for being honest and straightforward.
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Americans continue to have a net negative impression of her (40 percent positive/47 percent negative) – virtually unchanged from early October. Despite an effort by her campaign to present a softer side, she has not significantly improved her standing with registered voters on measures like “being compassionate enough to understand average people” or “being inspirational and an exciting choice for president.”

Even the good news is bad news:

Among swing voters, the share who say they are not satisfied with her response to the Benghazi controversy has plummeted from 84 percent at the beginning of October to 40 percent now, although only about a quarter – 23 percent – are satisfied.

Must be that Liberal Media Bias….

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“It turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators”

Meanwhile, President Obama played Comedian-in-Chief:

President Obama on Monday mocked Republican presidential candidates as thin-skinned for lashing out at CNBC over the network’s handling of last week’s primary debate.

“They say, ‘when I talk to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he’s going to straighten out,'” he said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City. “And then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators.”

“If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you,” Obama added.

And Donald Trump wants to kneecap the other Whiny WHannabes:

The format and content of upcoming Republican debates became increasingly uncertain on Monday after Donald Trump’s campaign said the real estate mogul would negotiate his terms directly with television executives instead of as part of a joint effort with his rivals.

The move by Trump, coming just hours after his and other campaigns huddled in a Washington suburb to craft a three-page letter of possible demands, thwarts an effort to find consensus after what most candidates agreed was a debacle hosted by CNBC last week.

As a celebrity billionaire who has been a leading factor in drawing record ratings, Trump has little interest in working to promote the wishes of his opponents, his allies said.

I wish I could eat popcorn….

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Photo Credit: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

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Good day and good nuts