Hillary Clinton silences a heckler — and presses for civility in D.C.

Tim Sprinkle

Tell us what you really think, Hillary.

At a speech on Wednesday in Buffalo, N.Y., former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took on a heckler, and won, by dealing with him in the same way that many believe politicians should fix the breakdown in civility in Washington.

That is — make it clear that citizenship doesn’t include yelling. “It includes sitting down and talking,” she said, to a rousing ovation from the 6,500 in attendance.

The man, who had been yelling from an upper section of the bleachers during the event on the campus of the University of Buffalo, was eventually led away by security, but not before Clinton addressed his actions from the podium. According to WIBV.com, the man screamed "Benghazi, Benghazi, you let them die" in reference to the terror attack on a U.S. Embassy in Libya in which four Americans were killed.

“We can’t move from crisis to crisis,” she said, according to reports, “we have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want.”

A question of attitude

It has been a particularly divisive few years in the nation’s capital, capped off by the recent government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling fight, leading many Americans to question the attitudes of those in Congress.

According to a poll released earlier this month by Quinnipiac University, 72 percent of Americans opposed the federal shutdown and 74 percent disapprove of the job being done by congressional Republicans. Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama didn’t fare much better, posting 32 percent and 45 percent overall job approval ratings in the survey, respectively. Respondents also opposed by 64 to 27 percent the idea of blocking an increase in the nation's debt ceiling as a way to stop Obamacare.

“Americans are certainly not in love with Obamacare, but they reject decisively the claim by congressional Republicans that it is so bad that it’s worth closing down the government to stop it,”  Peter Brown, assistant director of the university's polling institute, told Bloomberg.

Maybe it’s time for congressional leaders to take Clinton’s advice and just talk through their issues.

What do you think? Is it time for more civility in Washington?