NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday night used Republican troubles with women to trumpet how “a former candidate, who now happens to be Secretary of State, is speaking out.” Andrea Mitchell claimed Republicans spurred “a national debate over contraception and women’s rights. Now it’s produced a huge gender advantage for President Obama.” She insisted, without naming a single Republican, that “across party lines, American women are fired up, including Hillary Clinton...”
Mitchell cued up Clinton: “Did Rush Limbaugh go too far this time?” Mitchell then laid out the case for the former First Lady, relaying how “she’s the most popular woman in America” and, as if it should matter, “Meryl Streep recently delivered what sounded like a nominating speech for Clinton.” She pressed Clinton: “There is a growing expectation that you will run for President.” When she didn’t get an immediate affirmation, Mitchell pleaded: “Why not?”
If Hillary Clinton does run in 2016, this NBC “newscast” marks the beginning of that campaign.
From the Monday, April 2 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS, [with “Women’s Rights” on screen]: To presidential politics now on the eve of tomorrow’s three GOP primaries. There is news tonight about women voters and the fallout for the presidential candidates from the bitter fights we have been seeing lately over women’s rights. Tonight, a former candidate who now happens to be Secretary of State, is speaking out on the issue. Our report from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
PROTESTERS: One, two three, four. We won’t take it anymore!
ANDREA MITCHELL: It started in the Republican campaign and quickly flared into a national debate over contraception and women’s rights. Now it’s produced a huge gender advantage for President Obama, leading likely opponent Mitt Romney by 18 points among women in a new USA Today/Gallup poll of battleground states. Across party lines, American women are fired up, including Hillary Clinton who’s used to be the sole woman in a man’s world.
HILLARY CLINTON: I think we need to call people out when they go over the line. They’re entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to engage in that kind of, you know, verbal assault.
ANDREA MITCHELL, TO CLINTON: Did Rush Limbaugh go too far this time?
HILLARY CLINTON: I thought the response was very encouraging. The response from the public, the response in particular from women cutting across all kinds of categories.
MITCHELL: She says she’s out of politics, but she’s the most popular woman in America, according to Gallup, for the tenth year in a row. Meryl Streep recently delivered what sounded like a nominating speech for Clinton.
MARYL STREEP: But if you want a real world leader and you’re really, really lucky, this is what you get. [Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep hugging]
MITCHELL: There is a growing expectation that you will run for President.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Andrea, that is-
MITCHELL: Why not?
HILLARY CLINTON: It’s flattering, but you know, I’m not at all planning to do that. And I’ll do some writing and some speaking and I’m sure I’ll be continuing to advocate on these issues.
MITCHELL: Bill Clinton told Luke Russert she might miss the action.
BIL CLINTON: She thinks she’ll probably never run for office again, but I’ve been there. I know what happens when you go through this decompression.
MITCHELL: As for the next campaign, neither Clinton is closing any doors. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.