NBC Touts Bill Clinton’s New ‘Backstage’ Role In Hillary’s Campaign

On Wednesday, NBC’s Today offered up yet another puff piece on the Clintons as Andrea Mitchell touted Bill Clinton's new role as a "backstage advisor" for Hillary's 2016 presidential campaign. 

The NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent beamed at how “[n]ever known to shy away from a campaign, Bill Clinton now vowing to step back when his wife runs in 2016, telling Town and Country magazine, ‘My role should primarily be as a backstage adviser to her until we get much, much closer to the election.’” 

Mitchell briefly acknowledged that Clinton was “hardly the perfect advocate in ’08, sharply criticizing his wife’s opponent Barack Obama” before she quickly heaped additional praise on the former president:

Now the man who won the White House twice…And won rave reviews for his convention speech for Obama in 2012 says he doesn’t think he’s good at campaigning anymore explaining “I'm not mad at anybody. I'm a grandfather and I got to see my granddaughter last night, and I can't be mad.” 

Mitchell went on to play a clip of Clinton schmoozing with reporters at a recent volunteer event where he “was a magnet for reporters” despite repeatedly “deflecting questions about whether his wife would even enter the race.”

Mitchell wrapped up the pro-Clinton piece just as she started as she declared that “even just saying he he’ll be a backstage adviser has landed Bill Clinton right back on the front page.”

Wednesday’s puff piece on the Clintons was the second such story that aired on NBC’s Today in the past week. On Monday, Peter Alexander advertised on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s newest campaign aide tasked with fixing her public image. While he did his best to promote Hillary’s latest hire, Alexander downplayed her recent e-mail scandal:

Despite persistent scrutiny over her use of personal e-mail as Secretary of State, Clinton has recently highlighted her sense of humor as she tries to turn the page. 

See relevant transcript below.

NBC’s Today

April 8, 2015

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We expect Hillary Clinton to announce her presidential run any day now. And this morning former President Bill Clinton is opening up a bit about what his role in the campaign would be. Here's NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. 

BILL CLINTON: We will grow again. 

ANDREA MITCHELL: Never known to shy away from a campaign, Bill Clinton now vowing to step back when his wife runs in 2016, telling Town and Country magazine, “My role should primarily be as a backstage adviser to her until we get much, much closer to the election.” But still offering advice even before she’s formally announced her campaign. “I think it's important, and Hillary does too, that she go out there as if she’s never run for anything before” he said. The former president was hardly the perfect advocate in ‘08, sharply criticizing his wife's opponent Barack Obama. 

CLINTON: This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I have ever seen. 

MITCHELL: Now the man who won the White House twice -- 

CLINTON: If that is what you believe. 

MITCHELL: And won rave reviews for his convention speech for Obama in 2012 says he doesn’t think he’s good at campaigning anymore explaining “I'm not mad at anybody. I'm a grandfather and I got to see my granddaughter last night, and I can't be mad.” Instead, the former president tells Town and Country he’ll focus on his Clinton Global Initiative. But even at this volunteer event last month, Clinton was a magnet for reporters. 

UNKNOWN PERSON: President Clinton, what's your opinion? 

CLINTON: That I shouldn’t be making news on this.

MITCHELL: For months, deflecting questions about whether his wife would even enter the race. 

CLINTON: I have nothing to say.

MITCHELL: I think I know which way you would vote.  

CLINTON: No, you don't. I don’t know which way I would vote.

MITCHELL: But now, even just saying he he’ll be a backstage adviser has landed Bill Clinton right back on the front page. For Today, Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington. 

MATT LAUER: And no question, as a couple, they will generate an awful lot of attention. 

GUTHRIE: They do whether they’re running or not.

LAUER: Win or lose. Exactly right. 

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