CNN Gushes Over Moments From 'Formidable' Hillary's 'Storied Career'

CNN's Michaela Pereira and The Daily Beast's John Avlon heralded several clips from Hillary Clinton's past on Tuesday's New Day, and repeatedly touted her as "formidable." Pereira touted the footage as "some of the moments from her very storied career." Avlon hyped that Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, "have been forces for change," and asserted that "the Clintons' story is about self-inflicted scandals and the remarkable resurgences." [video below]

The anchor and her guest first played a clip of a 1992 interview where Mrs. Clinton underlined (in a fake Southern accent) that she wasn't "some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette." Pereira claimed that the clip gave "an idea of how formidable this woman is." Avlon seconded her "formidable" label of the former New York senator, and used his "remarkable resurgences" phrase about the Clintons:

JOHN AVLON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: ...[T]he irony, of course, being she was standing by her man. But this is one of those rhythms that's peculiar to this couple. You know, the Clintons' story is about self-inflicted scandals and the remarkable resurgences. But frequently, they rely on the other person – sometimes, the person they've wronged – to pull their...fat out of the fire, so to speak

And that's really what she did right there. She showed she was tough; she was formidable; and she wasn't just going to simply play a traditional role of the first candidate's wife, or the first lady and she hasn't.

Pereira continued with a clip from Mrs. Clinton's "woman's rights are human rights" speech from 1995. The CNN journalist remarked that it was "an important message back then – still an important one that we haven't made much headway on." The editor replied with his "forces of change" label for the Clintons, and underlined that "this really was an elevated moment that has aged incredibly well – an important moment that creates a degree of moral authority behind her candidacy."

After spotlighting a 2008 moment where the former secretary of state shed tears on the campaign trail (which Avlon claimed was "the most important moment of her political career to date"), the anchor featured a snippet from Mrs. Clinton's concession speech from later that year. The Daily Beast editor contended, in part, that it was a "good-natured, defiant admittance of defeat, but it set the stage for the comeback we're seeing right now." Pereira responded, "She showed formidable grace there, too...not easy to do when you're making that kind of speech."

The CNN anchor concluded the retrospective segment with a clip of Mrs. Clinton's infamous 2013 testimony on the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya (which only partially included her "what difference at this point does it make" line). Pereira noted that "we saw her fired up. We saw her angry there. This issue is not going to go away." Avlon acknowledged that "this was not a great moment for Hillary Clinton," but continued by spinning it in the Democratic presidential candidate's favor: "This is where that passion and self-righteousness she felt really seemed tone deaf, and got misused by a hundred Republican attack ads. But once thing else about the Clintons: they are blessed with enemies who inevitably overreach; and that has also been one of their secrets to coming back." The journalist then made her "very storied career" remark about the politician.

The full transcript of the segment from the October 13, 2015 edition of CNN's New Day:

MICHAELA PEREIRA: Tonight is the night the Democratic candidates for president will face off for the first time. In the center of the stage, Hillary Clinton – she's been in the national spotlight since 1992, when her husband launched his presidential bid. How will Hillary defend her record and trustworthy issues?

Here to discuss it all: John Avlon, CNN political analyst and editor-in-chief of 'The Daily Beast.'

JOHN AVLON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Good morning-

PEREIRA: You and I are holding down the fort here-

AVLON: Let's do it-

PEREIRA: And making things, sort of – I guess, some context to who she is now – where she's come from – you say that this moment was a really defining moment – the first time we saw the two of them – let's listen to it – in a joint interview.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (from 1992 CBS News interview): You know, I'm not sitting here as some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette. I'm sitting here, because I love him and I respect him, and I honor what he's been through and what we've been through together. And, you know, if that's not enough for people; then, heck, don't vote for him.

PEREIRA: That was an idea of how formidable this woman is; but also, she got some heat for that, didn't she?

AVLON: She sure did. I mean, there was definitely a lot of blow-back. Tammy Wynette fans not amused-

PEREIRA: Yeah – not so much-

AVLON: But when, in fact, the irony, of course, being she was standing by her man. But this is one of those rhythms that's peculiar to this couple. You know, the Clintons' story is about self-inflicted scandals and the remarkable resurgences. But frequently, they rely on the other person-

PEREIRA: Ah!

AVLON: Sometimes, the person they've wronged – to pull their – you know, fat out of the fire, so to speak-

PEREIRA: Right-

AVLON: And that's really what she did right there. She showed she was tough; she was formidable; and she wasn't just going to simply play a traditional role of the first candidate's wife, or the first lady-

PEREIRA: Right-

AVLON: And she hasn't.

PEREIRA: You brought our attention to this moment. This was in Beijing-

CLINTON (from 1995 United Nations conference): It is time for us to say here in Beijing – and for world to hear – that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights once and for all. (audience applauds)

PEREIRA: An important message back then – still an important one that we haven't made much headway on.

AVLON: No, that's right. And sometimes, in the rearview mirror of history-

PEREIRA: Yeah-

AVLON: It just seems like a succession of scandals-

PEREIRA: Sure-

AVLON: When you look at the Clintons. But what's important to understand and appreciate is the way they have been forces for change. And this really was an elevated moment that has aged incredibly well – an important moment that creates a degree of moral authority behind her candidacy amid the, sort of, scandals that we remember-

PEREIRA: Right. I mean, we've got all these options here – and I'm going to jump around a little bit. I want to move to this moment here-

AVLON: All right-

PEREIRA: Because we see a side of Hillary Clinton in 2008 – America sees a side of her that we weren't accustomed to seeing-

AVLON: Yeah-

CLINTON (from 2008 campaign event): I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don't want to see us fall backwards – no. (audience applauds) So – you know, this – this is very personal for me. It's not just political. It's not just public. I see what's happening. And we have to reverse-

PEREIRA: She teared up there!

AVLON: She did-

PEREIRA: I mean, this is a – this is a more human side of her. Do you think we're going to see more of this?

AVLON: Well, you know, that was really the – in some ways, the transformational moment of the 2008 campaign. It was enough to help her win New Hampshire after she lost Iowa. It was obviously not enough to change the overall trajectory of the race.

But the lesson for Hillary Clinton there is take the risk of intimacy. Be yourself – try to tap into a deeper emotion as the human being that you are beneath all the steely ambition, accusations, and the battle-hardened toughness from 22 years of public life. When candidates and speakers take that risk of intimacy, people connect to them. And that's what she needs to do – not only in tonight's debate, but I think overall. That was the most important moment of her political career to date.

PEREIRA: Another moment in 2008 – interesting – because this is when she ended her campaign.

CLINTON (from 2008 campaign event): Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it. (audience cheers and applauds)

PEREIRA: What resonated here for you?

AVLON: Well, not only was it a good-natured, defiant admittance of defeat, but it set the stage for the comeback we're seeing right now. It set the stage for her becoming part of that team of rivals in Barack Obama's first-term cabinet; and now, a run again after a really hard-fought race. So, that's a key moment where she made the campaign that she had just run about something larger than herself, and that is what's essential for a winning campaign and a winning message-

PEREIRA: She showed formidable grace there, too-

AVLON: She did; she did-

PEREIRA: You know – not easy to do when you're making that kind of speech-

AVLON: Not always-

PEREIRA: And then, now fast-forwarding to more recent times – 2013 is in our very clear memory – obviously, testifying about Benghazi.

CLINTON (from 2013 congressional hearing): With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference-

PEREIRA: So we saw her fired up. We saw her angry there. This issue is not going to go away. She's going to clearly face it tonight.

AVLON: Yup. She's going to face it tonight. She's going to face it again October 22 for the Benghazi testimony – although that – you know, the integrity of the most recent investigative commission has been questioned, as Jake Tapper interviewed one of the former investigators, who said it was partisanship.

Look, two things here: one, this is – this was not a great moment for Hillary Clinton. This is where that passion and self-righteousness she felt really seemed tone deaf, and got misused by a hundred Republican attack ads. But once thing else about the Clintons: they are blessed with enemies who inevitably overreach; and that has also been one of their secrets to coming back.

PEREIRA: Just some of the moments from her very storied career. We'll see more tonight, I'm sure-

AVLON: We will-

PEREIRA: John Avlon, thanks so much. We appreciate it.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN New Day Video John Avlon Michaela Pereira Hillary Clinton
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