Adoring Maddow Jokes With Rapinoe About Running for President

In a predictably fawning interview with Women’s World Cup soccer champion and left-wing activist Megan Rapinoe Tuesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow hailed the athlete for being “more and more articulate in terms of using the platform that you’ve got to say what you think ought to be happening in the world.” The liberal anchor even joked about Rapinoe possibly running for president.

“One of the reasons that I feel like your career is of national interest, not just for you as an athlete but for you as an American, is because over the years I feel like, watching you just as a fan, I feel like you have become more and more comfortable and more and more articulate in terms of using the platform that you’ve got to say what you think ought to be happening in the world,” Maddow gushed early on in the segment, setting the tone for the rest of the friendly exchange.

 

 

The host wasn’t done heaping effusive praise on Rapinoe:

You seem more calm, more capable, more eloquent than ever, and it seems like that gets better over time. And so that makes me want you to do this forever....you’re really good at talking when you need to talk and saying things that need to be said. And I wonder how deliberately you’ve approached that or if it’s just the process of maturing?

Keep in mind, Maddow was talking about someone who, when asked about visiting the White House if the U.S. women’s team won the World Cup, replied: “I’m not going to the fucking White House.” What could be more “eloquent” or “mature” than that?

The soccer star demonstrated similar “maturity” when wrapping up her speech at a victory parade in New York City on Wednesday by proclaiming: “New York City, you’re the motherfucking best!”

Responding to Maddow’s softball Tuesday night, Rapinoe repaid the flattery: “I try to be as educated as I can....So I try to keep up with things, watch The Rachel Maddow Show, of course, keep myself woke.”

Later, after a commercial break, Maddow eagerly asked about Rapinoe’s future plans: “I think you’ve shown incredible poise in terms of handling the attention that you’ve gotten...I wonder if you have any thoughts about what comes next for you in terms of the kind of impact that you want to have, both on the sport and in the country?”

The liberal host even went so far as to tout: “Public Policy Polling literally did a poll today. Which was you versus Trump in a presidential contest and you beat him by a point.” Maddow jokingly continued: “So, you know, I don’t think you’re going to announce that you’re running for president here, but – ” Rapinoe confirmed: “Yeah, no, I’m not.” Maddow wondered: “What is ahead for you?”

Rapinoe gleefully shared: “My girlfriend actually just said, she’s like, you need to be careful. They’re gonna ask you to run for president. You need to slow your roll.” Maddow laughed and replied: “I’m not asking you to run, just suggesting that others are polling on it.”

Eventually answering Maddow’s question, Rapinoe giddily discussed how she would leverage her fame to push a liberal political agenda:

I’m excited to kind of dig in and see really where I can take this. I think that I’ve been kind of wanting that for a number of years and how do we – how do we bring it out of just sports and out of soccer and out of the things that we’ve been doing and that I’ve been doing into something way bigger?...I kind of want to stop just talking about things and, like, how do we put things in action? How do we help? What do we do? What’s the best way to get people mobilized, whether that’s in voting or just getting people more educated and more plugged in to what’s happening, you know, in our politics and in our lives? And I think I’m ready for that, like, next thing. I want to be more impactful.

Maddow offered her endorsement: “I think the country is ready for you.”

Rapinoe was provided with a second friendly media platform Tuesday night, when she also appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. While there, she was given the chance to rant directly at President Trump and shame him for “excluding people” with his campaign message.

Move over Colin Kaepernick, the liberal media have found their new champion. 

 

Here are excerpts of Maddow’s July 9 interview with Rapinoe:

9:35 PM ET

(...)

RACHEL MADDOW: One of the reasons that I feel like your career is of national interest, not just for you as an athlete but for you as an American, is because over the years I feel like, watching you just as a fan, I feel like you have become more and more comfortable and more and more articulate in terms of using the platform that you’ve got to say what you think ought to be happening in the world. You seem more calm, more capable, more eloquent than ever, and it seems like that gets better over time. And so that makes me want you to do this forever. I mean, obviously I want you to do this forever as a fan, but I also feel like you – you’re really good at talking when you need to talk and saying things that need to be said. And I wonder how deliberately you’ve approached that or if it’s just the process of maturing?

MEGAN RAPINOE: I think a little bit of both. I try to be as educated as I can. I think that helps when you get in front of the camera and you’re in a moment and you’re like, what the hell am I supposed to say? So I try to keep up with things, watch The Rachel Maddow Show, of course, keep myself woke.

And I think, honestly, a lot of it comes just from my gut and from my heart. I’m quite off the cuff but I’m also very thoughtful and understand and take a lot of pride and take very seriously the platform that we have. And understanding, you know, where my voice goes when I say things and trying to use those things for good and trying to challenge people and constantly bring the conversation and make people think and, you know, constantly re-evaluate where we are in the world. Are we doing enough? Are we good enough? Can we be better? And I think the answer to those questions is always yes.

So I feel like for me it’s – I feel a responsibility to do this. Like, I’m privileged to be a famous person and to be on this team and to be who I am, and if I just stay silent, it seems awfully selfish.

MADDOW: One of the things that I felt, again, just as a fan, when the President started criticizing you and attacking you, is that I was mad at him because I felt like he was going to rattle you when you needed to be very focused on soccer for the country. You did not seem rattled by that. I can’t imagine that it’s not distracting, though, that it doesn’t take up some of your focus, some of your worry time, some of what you might otherwise be devoting to your craft.

RAPINOE: I don’t get into my mentions a lot. I’m not huge on Twitter. I’m more of an Instagram person. So I feel like I’m not in that flow a lot. Obviously I hear about it and I, of course, heard about the President’s tweets, and it did, it took a minute, it took some focus for sure. It happened kind of at a good time. We had just played a game and then had a little time before the next game. Obviously it was before the France game, a very big one.

We have an incredible media team that travels with us everywhere, you know, family and friends and my agents and everyone, I think just really mobilized and rallied around me, it’s like, what do you need, how can we address this? And I think the way that we did it, we addressed it immediately in the press conference. Just said it right out, I’m not sorry for what I said, I stand by everything, and that was kind of it and then I sort of made everyone go back to what we were actually doing, which was trying to win the World Cup.

(...)

9:46 PM ET

MADDOW: In terms of what happens next for you, you’re very, very famous now. You’ve been –

RAPINOE: I know. [Laughter]  

MADDOW: In a way that as I mentioned I think you’ve shown incredible poise in terms of handling the attention that you’ve gotten and making sure that things are still on your own terms. I wonder if you have any thoughts about what comes next for you in terms of the kind of impact that you want to have, both on the sport and in the country? Public Policy Polling literally did a poll today.

RAPINOE: Oh, no.

MADDOW: Which was you versus Trump in a presidential contest and you beat him by a point. So, you know, I don’t think you’re going to announce that you’re running for president here, but –  

RAPINOE: Yeah, no, I’m not.

MADDOW: What is ahead for you?

RAPINOE: My girlfriend actually just said, she’s like, you need to be careful. They’re gonna ask you to run for president. You need to slow your roll.

MADDOW [LAUGHING]: I’m not asking you to run, just suggesting that others are polling on it.

RAPINOE: Yeah, no, no, no. I’m just saying, people are saying it. I don’t know, to be honest. I think things have changed dramatically in these, you know, just these couple of days.

MADDOW: Yeah.

RAPINOE: I’m excited to kind of dig in and see really where I can take this. I think that I’ve been kind of wanting that for a number of years and how do we – how do we bring it out of just sports and out of soccer and out of the things that we’ve been doing and that I’ve been doing into something way bigger? And I think sort of the same as the equal pay argument, I kind of want to stop just talking about things and, like, how do we put things in action? How do we help? What do we do? What’s the best way to get people mobilized, whether that’s in voting or just getting people more educated and more plugged in to what’s happening, you know, in our politics and in our lives? And I think I’m ready for that, like, next thing. I want to be more impactful. I feel like the money where the mouth is, is the best way to go and trying to, yeah, just I guess leverage this moment but also understand that there’s something so much more.

MADDOW: I think the country is ready for you.

RAPINOE: Yes.

MADDOW: Megan Rapinoe, it’s an incredible honor to have you here.

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