Comparing Hillary Clinton's book tour to an "out of town play getting ready in New Haven," MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight dismissed the former secretary of state's tone-deaf "dead broke" line from her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer as a "small kind of gaffe, or even a half gaffe." [MP3 audio here; video embed follows page break]
"Once she said we were $12 million in the hole, I think people should have understood what she meant," Matthews asserted to his guest, NBC's Cynthia McFadden, whose fawning interview was aired on Tuesday's Nightly News. Indeed, the former first lady is quite capably "tuning up" her performance as her book tour rolls along. For her part, McFadden seemed to agree, replying:
Listen, she certainly, as for a bumpy start, that was certainly a pothole, she hit it, it was a fair question, it was a bad answer. She's course correcting, triangulating, fixing it now, I don't think it's going to have real lasting effects.
I have to tell you, Chris, I have interviewed her all over the world, all over the country, and when she sat down to talk to me on Monday, I said you look rested. She said, I am rested, despite having written nearly a 700-page book.
This is Hillary Clinton rested. She seems to be in fine health. She says her health is just great. I don't think there's going to be any health question that stands between her and running for president, if she decides to do that. And I guess a lot of us think maybe she already is doing that.
It's no hard feat to be well-rested when you have researchers and an uncredited ghostwriter doing the heavy lifting for you, but the name Ted Widmer was not-so-curiously absent from the segment.