A certain level of worry permeated the coverage for the launch of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The three networks on Friday at least noted stumbles the Democrat has had in 2015, though ABC failed to specifically mention the e-mail server controversy. Former Bill Clinton operative turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos conceded that Mrs. Clinton "has some work to do."
He added, "Since [she] left her job as Secretary of State, her poll numbers have taken somewhat of a tumble." Jon Karl agreed, pointing out, "When she left office as Secretary of State, she was one of the most popular political figures in America. Now, our latest poll shows her less than 50 percent viewing her favorably."
Over on CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose offered more specificity, suggesting Clinton was starting the campaign early "partly because of the controversy over using a private e-mail account as Secretary of State." Rose also spotlighted bad polling numbers:
CHARLIE ROSE: Clinton's chances against the Republicans are not so clear cut. A new poll in Iowa puts her in a statistical dead heat against three potential GOP rivals. Voters in that swing state Clinton behind Rand Paul. She does hold a narrow lead over Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush. The poll also shows Clinton losing support after the e-mail controversy.
After that, however, the questions from the hosts were quite generic and boring. O'Donnell wondered, "How will this campaign be different?... What will be Bill Clinton's role?" When Rose asked what "questions does [Clinton] have to answer," Dickerson did not answer with the deleted e-mails. Instead, he said the big query is "why she's running."
On NBC's Today, Kristen Welker lectured that the Democrat "will try to avoid the mistakes she made in 2008." Like the other two networks, Welker fixated on bad polling:
KRISTEN WELKER: Polls show her trouncing her Democratic rivals, but in a general election match-up with challengers like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, things get tougher. Republican rivals are already on the attack against Clinton for using her personal e-mail while serving as Secretary of State.
Welker, unlike CBS, at least included a shot from Republican Rand Paul: "Maybe we'll never know the truth [about the e-mails] because she erased the files."
Clinton's announcement is expected on Sunday.
A transcript of the April 10 GMA segment is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn to politics and the long tease almost over for Democrats. Hillary Clinton expected to make her second run for the White House official this weekend. ABC's Jon Karl covering it and this won't be a traditional big rally kickoff.
JON KARL: No, this is going to be quite different, George. We are told to expect something more low key, likely an announce many over social media, probably on Sunday and including a video message. That will be followed by a trip to key battleground states. But, again, George, not big rallies, not big crowds, the aim here, we are told, is for Mrs. Clinton to have interaction one-on-one with voters in the key states, at least in the beginning.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Jon, the Clinton team knows they have some work to do. Since Hillary Clinton left her job as Secretary of State, her poll numbers have taken somewhat of a tumble.
KARL: This has been a long drawn out process getting to this point of announcing and it has not been good to her popularity. Take a look at our poll. When she left office as Secretary of State, she was one of the most popular political figures in America. Now our latest poll shows her less than 50 percent viewing her favorably. So she's had some problems of late and they hope now that she gets out officially as a candidate she can turn that around.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, although some of that is inevitable when you get into the political fray. I know you'll be on top of this all weekend long. We're going to cover it Sunday on This Week.