Flashback: Journalists Saluting Hillary’s 'Dazzling Political Mastery'

NewsBusters is continuing to document the news media’s role in enabling Hillary Clinton’s political career, showing how reporters showered were with positive news coverage while they savaged her opponents. Today, a collection of quotes showing reporters in awe over Hillary’s “dazzling” political mastery.”

Here are the links to previous installments; the series will continue to run every other weekday until Friday, July 15. (Links to rest of report added below.)


(Once again, thanks to MRC’s Mike Ciandella for tracking down the available TV clips; the full set of quotes follows the video compilation.)


■ “She came, she saw, she wowed them. It was standing room only, and when the photographers saw her, it was like the Fourth of July....Seldom referring to notes, she argued that much of the system is broken and must be fixed. There seemed no detail she did not know, no criticism she had not considered....All sides agreed it was a boffo performance. Republicans were impressed. Democrats just loved it.”
CBS Evening News correspondent Bob Schieffer talking about Hillary Clinton’s testimony on the new health care law, September 28, 1993.

■ “Hillary Clinton, like Eleanor Roosevelt, had already done a great service. Unlike Barbara Bush, she got involved. She has taken stands. She has been a leader. It’s too bad, of course, that there is not health care legislation this year, but that is Congress’s failure, not Hillary Clinton’s. Her role has been a success. She awakened the nation. She educated the nation. She enlightened the nation....For when a nation gets two leaders for the price of one — a Franklin and Eleanor, a Bill and Hillary — it can tackle twice as many problems, find twice as many solutions, make twice as much progress.”
— Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in his USA Today column, September 27, 1994.

■ “Hillary Clinton, as far as I’m concerned, she’s the Person of the Year....You talk about a comeback kid — she makes her husband look like Ned in knee pants in terms of comeback from where she was early in the Clinton administration. You know, you add it all up, and you can make a case that Hillary Clinton might, might — mark the word — be the strongest candidate for the Democrats.”
CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather on CNN’s Larry King Live, December 3, 1998.

■ “She emerged on health care, only to beat a very bruised retreat. She clearly hated being thought of as just Bill Clinton’s wife. But ironically, it would take his scandals, finally, to free her. Finally, last November 1998, Hillary Clinton showed the world what she could do on the campaign trail without him. Political mastery, every bit as dazzling as his: the thoughtful speech; unapologetically strong; emboldening Democrats; electing Senators. So, her friends say, she has really earned this campaign, this moment, if she chooses; earned it by changing herself, searching, stumbling; and at the end, by standing, not by her man, but by herself.”
— Co-host Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Good Morning America, March 12, 1999.

■ “Forget the Senate. Over the last 12 days, Hillary Rodham Clinton has looked and sounded more like a candidate for Secretary of State. There she was in Egypt, gently urging tolerance for the minority Coptic Christians. There she was in Tunisia, lashing out at Islamic radicals in other countries who oppress women. And here she was in Morocco, speaking out on everything from the Middle East peace process to the NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia....How does a woman whose international profile is so high that bystanders in Africa two years ago referred to her as the queen of the world adjust to becoming a low-ranking member of the seniority-conscious Senate?”
Washington Post reporter Peter Baker in an April 1, 1999 news story about Hillary Clinton’s trip to Africa.

■ “I’m endlessly fascinated by her....She’s so smart. Virtually every time I’ve seen her perform, she has knocked my socks off.”
— CBS News reporter Lesley Stahl on Hillary Clinton, as quoted by TV columnist Gail Shister in the December 8, 1999 Philadelphia Inquirer.

■ “I went to a luncheon yesterday and Hillary Clinton was there. And I don’t get to see Hillary Clinton very much and she was talking about the problems of New York and the problems of safety. She was simply terrific. She was so well-informed, she speaks without any, you know, written material. You know, we do a lot of kidding around, but boy, I was impressed.”
— Barbara Walters on ABC’s The View, May 7, 2002.

■ “Whatever her aspirations, these days she seems to be the life of the party — the Democratic Party — and at times she’s received like a rock star. She works on economic development in upstate New York, gives foreign policy and civil rights speeches, shakes hand after hand, signs book after book.”
— NBC’s Katie Couric on Dateline, April 16, 2004.

■ Co-host John Heilemann: “It’s going to be hard for any of these people [the Republican candidates] I think, I don’t know if you agree, to come up and be at the same threshold [on foreign policy] as Hillary Clinton, given her huge resume at least in this area, whatever you think about the policies.”
Bloomberg’s Melinda Henneberger: “I don’t think they can possibly come up to the level of the former Secretary of State.”
— Exchange on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, April 9, 2015.

“You measure up accomplishments, an ability to weather the storm, to have had experience that might apply to the job....This is not even a conversation. She eats him for lunch....Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio. There is no comparison. Maybe this is my ideology, but I’m sorry — but that’s a little boy, and that’s an experienced, accomplished woman who’s been elected to the Senate twice, who served as First Lady, who served as Secretary of State.”
— Co-host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, April 14, 2015.

Links to other installments:

Part One: A NewsBusters Special Report: Hillary Clinton’s Media Fan Club
Part Two: Journalists Cast Hillary as a Feminist Champion, Battling Sexist America
Part Three: Hating Hillary’s Enemies in the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Part Five: TV Reporters’ Top 10 Softball Questions for Hillary
Part Six: Journalists Help Hillary Overcome Her Many Scandals
Part Seven: Journalists Lead the Cheers for Hillary for President
Part Eight: Hollywood Celebrities Shake Their Pom-Poms for Hillary

Tell the Truth 2016

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