“So I may have short-circuited it and for that I, you know, will try to clarify because I think — you know, Chris Wallace and I, we’re probably talking past each other be — because, of course, he could only talk to what I had told the FBI and I appreciated that.” — Hillary Clinton, remarks to joint convention of black and Hispanic journalists, Aug. 5, 2016Trump and others — including me — have been joking and faux-fretting about Hillary's seeming to portray herself as a robot, so there might seem to be a significant difference between her presenting herself as an electrical entity capable of short-circuiting and portraying herself as the agent of short-circuiting. If the latter — and the evidence undoubtedly establishes the latter — then the question is what was the thing — the "it" — that she was acting upon and causing to short-circuit?
It would have to be the set of ideas that arose in her head as Chris Wallace asked her the question. She connected the ideas up in the wrong way and thus produced an answer that wasn't right. Belatedly noticing the "it" in her remark forces me to think about the way in which a person's mental processes are different from the person. But how are they different?! And this is a metaphor, so the question is: How are they different in a way that relates to whether we should trust this person to make the momentous decisions that fall to the President of the United States?
If "short-circuited" means confused, it's the difference between saying I got confused and I confused my thoughts. Is there a difference that matters here? In the second form, the "I" is an active agent, doing things — but these things are bad, so there's no particular merit in being the one who does things rather than the one to whom things simply happen.
The main difference is: If you continue to joke about Hillary as a robot, you are wrong, so stop doing that. Hillary did not metaphorically portray herself as a robot. She portrayed herself as the miswirer of electrical connections inside her head.