When you think of the Clintons, does the word "honesty" come to mind?
It does to new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow who actually said on Tuesday's The Cycle (readers are strongly advised not to have any food or fluid in their mouths before continuing reading), "They represent a style of honesty that the public craves right now" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ARI MELBER, CO-HOST: We were talking about this segment as sort of an “I Love the '90s,” and for the Clintons, the '90s was a long time ago politically. If you look for example in '96, roughly when President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, and over time we saw that issue shift incredibly. The first civil unions at the state level in 2000, a federal ban proposed as recently as 2004 on marriage equality by President Bush, and Obama and Clinton both for political reasons or evolution depending on how you chart it didn't support marriage equality when they ran in '08. They've both changed and most extraordinarily and most rarely, the President came out and said he was wrong essentially to sign DOMA, wanted it overturned which the Supreme Court ultimately did. What do you think that evolution tells us about their ability to move from the '90s to now?
Isn't it funny how when a Republican changes his or her mind on a key position, it's called a flip-flop, but when a Democrat does it, it's an evolution? But I digress:
RONAN FARROW: They're nimble politicians. Also I think that they represent a style of honesty that the public craves right now. And that's reflected in the numbers. I think people are tired of the old school politicking, and when a politician comes out and says, “Actually, I changed my mind, I've evolved on the issue,” that's something people are willing to embrace.
You know, Clinton has shown, as you said, on a variety of social issues that matter to young voters and for whom, you know, other politicians that have remained stuck in the past have become a source of alienation. He's also done it on a variety of other issues including healthcare. I mean, let's not forget that it was a watershed moment when Bill Clinton came out and gave his seminal remarks on healthcare at the convention. Those are remarks that he struck through the written remarks on and ad-libbed a lot of. That shows the style of communication he has, and one of the reasons why these stops are so significant. He represents something that people still connect with in a very primal way.
Actually, Ronan, I think it all depends on what the meaning of "is" is.
That said, who thinks Farrow is going to fit in just fine at MSNBC?