Moments ago on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell reported that the HIllary Clinton camp was "in a meltdown as this race got closer and closer."
Later in the same stand-up filed from Clinton campaign headquarters, Mitchell noted how abruptly Clinton had stormed the stage for her "victory" speech – having not informed the crowd at the event nor the press pool – and then "just hightailed it out of here" after concluding her remarks, failing to pause even a few moments to shake supporters' hands.
It's refreshing honesty coming from Mitchell, who, as we all know, is a veteran Hillary defender.
Below are the video and transcript:
The Place for Politics 2016 (live Iowa Caucus coverage)
February 2, 2016; 12:05 a.m. Eastern
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: This is the time of the evening, the shank of the evening where we ask, “What have we learned?” So, Andrea, what have we learned?
ANDREA MITCHELL, via satellite from Clinton victory party location: I think we’ve learned that they were in a meltdown as this race got closer and closer, and they started, you know, e-mailing that they were going to win, because they felt that Polk County and Dubuque County, their strongholds, still had not been counted, and this was the first, first hint of anything from them all night saying that they were going to win.
So we transmitted that to you, pointing out that NBC News and no one else had declared them the victors, and they came out here having said that Chelsea Clinton, Bill Clinton, and then Hillary Clinton were going to speak. Then they were going to work the rope lines.
Instead what you saw was her saying – without any comments from her husband or her daughter – that she was breathing a sigh of relief.
Now in leaving here she has tweeted, personally, “Thank you, Iowa, from the bottom of my heart.” So, it is not a victory declaration but they’re trying to make it appear to be.
It is somewhat analogous to what happened with Bill Clinton in 1992 in New Hampshire. He didn't declare victory. He came in third, but he said that, you know, he was the comeback kid, because he was so far behind, because of all of the scandals that had erupted during that campaign.
So it isn't quite analogous but it certainly is her presenting herself, and, as you all pointed out, in the middle of Ted Cruz’s victory speech, coming up on stage with no warning. The staff did not know. The television pool traveling with her from the ABC network did not know.
Apologies went all around to everyone in this room because they did not know she was walking out on that stage when she did.
It’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve seen in a long time.
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