8:18 a.m. E.T.
One lesson and one (related) question:
Lesson: Really a reminder, because in the post-1992 Freak Show era, this reality has been true. If you are being tried in the court of public opinion by the other tribe, you need you own early, aggressive, experienced, and talented war room to fight back. Amazingly, this is true even if (actually, especially if) you serve in the government (or have been nominated or selected to serve). If you are a Democrat, you might be inclined to think that a drumbeat of attacks from the Fox-talk radio-Drudge axis can’t hurt you. But charges there (true or false) that go unanswered will begin to infect non-partisan media and, then, Democrats in Congress. Susan Rice had allies (including at the White House) playing defense on her behalf, but it was a classic case of too-little-too-late-too-unsophisticated.
Question: What Administration officials reached out to key Republican Senators (McCain, Collins, Graham) and tried to get them facts to try to calm them down — and when – besides Rice herself?