Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down with Jon Stewart on his Daily Show program Tuesday night and was treated to a puff interview that included numerous questions about her potential 2016 presidential campaign.
The Comedy Central host practically begged his guest to announce her candidacy while promoting her book “Hard Choices.” Stewart insisted “I think I speak for everybody when I say, no one cares, they just want to know if you're running for president.” [See video below.]
As the first of two segments with Ms. Clinton continued, Stewart brought out a clipboard and proceeded to ask his guest a series of questions on her presidential ambitions. The Daily Show host proclaimed that “there are ways that we can decide whether or not... I have it’s like a career aptitude test and it can help you.”
Stewart went on to ask his guest “do you like commuting to work or do you like a home office? What’s you’re...Do you have favorite shape for that home office? Do you like that office? Let's say, would you like that office... Would you like it to have corners or would you like it not to have corners? I don’t know.”
The "Run Hillary Run" questions continued with Stewart wondering if Clinton “prefer[s] to sit in traffic or cause it?” Rather than ask any serious questions during the first segment, the Comedy Central host jokingly wondered if she “enjoy[ed] constant, non-stop criticism” before insisting that “It does come with the territory.”
As the segment progressed, Stewart lamented the current media climate that surrounded Clinton:
Have you been surprised, that if you were not I think running for president, all of this criticism, I truly believe this, there's two books out now that are exposes of you and the family and all that. There is constant calls for testimony. There are constant parsing of words. If you stop that tomorrow, if you said, I am not running for president, it all stops.
It should come as no surprise that Stewart followed the rest of the liberal media in begging Ms. Clinton to run for president by kissing up to the former First Lady as much as he could. In the portion of the interview that appeared on television, very little focused on substantive policy issues and instead served as a free infomercial for the former Secretary of State.
As Politico noted, in the extended interview, which was available only on the Comedy Central website, Stewart asked Ms. Clinton her about a variety of issues including the current crisis in Israel. Unfortunately, most people only saw the portion of the interview in which the Daily Show host did his best to cheerlead for her potential 2016 presidential campaign not the substantive questions that should matter to most Americans.
See relevant transcript below.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
July 15, 2014
JON STEWART: Welcome back. My guest tonight, she was Secretary of State from 2009 until 2013. Her new memoir is called “Hard Choices." Please welcome back to the program Secretary Hillary Clinton. Secretary. Nice see you. I'm very excited. How are you?
HILLARY CLINTON: I'm great. I am absolutely great. How are you doing?
STEWART: I'm doing very well.
CLINTON: I could see that.
STEWART: Here is the book that you have written. This is called “Hard Choices.” It's clearly...
CLINTON: A lot of hard choices. A lot of hard choices.
STEWART: Not for your editor. Look at that baby.
CLINTON: The real story is that it was even longer.
STEWART: Was it really?
CLINTON: Oh, yes. Well there was just so much that happened in those four years.
CLINTON: And I was trying explain it, kind of pull the curtain back, so people could get an idea what we were doing in the world, and I wrote much more than that, if you can believe it. So this was like take the whip out and take the scalpel and cut it down.
STEWART: It's an incredibly, I think complex and well reasoned and eyewitness view to the history of those four years. And I think I speak for everybody when I say, no one cares, they just want to know if you're running for president.
CLINTON: Well, you know...
STEWART: Are you? Are you running for president?
CLINTON: Jon, I was going to make an announcement, but I saw... You kind of spoiled it for me.
STEWART: No, no, no. So that's a yes. That's yes.
CLINTON: The big spoiler. So I’m just going to have to reconsider where I go do it.
STEWART: Sure. There was a little confusion here. You know what I see here? Can I tell you what I sense?
CLINTON: Please, please do.
STEWART: A little confusion. You know, it takes me back to my days post-college. Let me... You know, there are ways that we can decide whether or not... I have it’s like a career aptitude test and it can help you.
CLINTON: This is good. I'm ready.
STEWART: So do you... Let me just ask you, because this is going to help you sort of hone in on if you want to even do this job. Let me ask you a question. Do you like commuting to work or do you like a home office? What’s you’re...
CLINTON: You know, I've spent so many years commuting; I'd kind of prefer a home office. That's where I wrote my book. It was on the third floor of our house, so that works.
STEWART: Do you have favorite shape for that home office? Do you like that office; let's say would you like that office... Would you like it to have corners or would you like it not to have corners? I don’t know.
CLINTON: You know, I think that the world is so complicated, the fewer corners that you can have, the better.
STEWART: Do you prefer to sit in traffic or cause it?
CLINTON: I really hate to cause traffic, and sometimes I do. And I deeply regret it. I'm telling the world right now. And when I have overeager police who are accompanying me who are so great and they're doing their best job, I sometimes have to crouch down, get on the floor. You know, I start this book talking about getting on the floor, hiding, trying to go to a secret meeting with Barack Obama. That happens to me a lot. So I prefer not to cause traffic.
STEWART: You actually travel like a kid sneaking into a drive-in theater?
CLINTON: I try to. And you know, sometimes a little disguise so then I can look out the window but nobody will know it's me.
STEWART: Well, let me ask you the final question: Do you enjoy constant, non-stop criticism?
CLINTON: Enjoy is probably the wrong word.
CLINTON: Expect, survive, live through. It just sort of comes with the territory.
STEWART: It does come with the territory. So, it sounds to me like, if I may, you've declared for the presidency.
STEWART: Why else, because here's the crazy thing. Have you been surprised, that if you were not I think running for president, all of this criticism, I truly believe this. There's two books out now that are exposes of you and the family and all that. There is constant calls for testimony. There are constant parsing of words. If you stop that tomorrow, if you said, I am not running for president, it all stops. Do you agree or disagree?
CLINTON: I think a lot of people would lose their jobs if it all stops. It seems to be...
STEWART: It would stop for you. They'd move on to Chris Christie or whoever else.
CLINTON: They might. But I've been amazed at what a cottage industry it is. And so I kind of expect it would continue. So I'm not really paying a lot of attention.
STEWART: It’s just these talking heads, sitting around, picking out every little thing and making fun of it. It's not right.
CLINTON: Could I say that I agree with you completely?
STEWART: What was the one that took you most off guard, was it the we were dead broke, when you said that?
CLINTON: Well, that was an inarticulate use of words, obviously. You know, Bill and I have worked really hard and we've been successful. I'm really grateful for hat but what I worry about, and I talk about this in the book is, I'm worried that other people and particularly younger people are not going to have the same opportunities we did.
Because even though we came from great circumstances in terms of our family loving us and Bill had a much more difficult upbringing than I did, but we believe that we could pretty much make our way up the ladder. And now I think a lot of particularly young people don't believe that anymore. And that bothers me a lot. So I think we have to pay attention to what we're going to do.
STEWART: You know what was kind of awesome that says to me you’re running for president? How easily you pivoted from that into income inequality in America. That says to me you're running for president. Because otherwise...
CLINTON: But think about it. Think about it. You and I have been lucky. I think we have to agree.
STEWART: Well, I don't know about lucky.
CLINTON: We both have worked hard. We both have worked hard.
STEWART: We have been lucky.
CLINTON: But we also were born into circumstances, mainly being in this country, where we had all these opportunities and were able to take advantage of them.
STEWART: So in your mind though then, are you suggesting that no longer exists for people or that there is something abjectly wrong with government or the system that we need to inform?
CLINTON: I think both. I think a lot of people don't believe it exists for them anymore. And we have six million young people between 16 and 24 in our country who are neither in school nor in work. They've kind of given up. And that's terrible a development. And so, yeah, I think that people don't feel it. And I think we have to change both our economic and our political systems so that we can make it a reality again. I think that's the big business ahead of us.
STEWART: When we come back, will you tell us how to do that?
STEWART: We'll be right back with more Hillary Clinton.