Gutsiest, or politically necessary? Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton went on ABC’s Good Morning America to promote their new project, The Book of Gutsy Women, which prompted the obvious question from host Amy Robach. Hillary’s response ended up surprising even Chelsea, whose dad is the answer.
Skip ahead to 4:45 if you don’t want to hear Hillary’s thoughts on impeachment:
“Can I ask you, what’s the gutsiest thing you’ve ever done?” ABC News’ Amy Robach asked Hillary Clinton at the conclusion of the joint interview.
“Ah, boy, I think the gutsiest thing I’ve ever done — well, personally, make the decision to stay in my marriage,” she replied. “Publicly, politically, run for president. And keep going. Just get up every day and keep going.”
When posed the same question, Chelsea Clinton appeared caught off guard by the unvarnished response from her mother, who was often criticized by pundits for a perceived lack of authenticity on the campaign trail.
“Oh, goodness, I think I’m so overwhelmed by my mother’s answer that I’m a bit out of words,” she said, before citing her own role as a mom to three children.
That’s er, one hell of a reveal on national television to Bill’s daughter. Not that Chelsea would necessarily be surprised at the claim itself — after all, she had an unfortunate ringside seat to all of the drama — but she appeared shocked that Hillary would make that claim publicly.
Does a decision to stick with Bill qualify as a gutsiest moment, at least in the context of her public life? Maybe. Many people expected Hillary to discard Bill over his serial and indiscreet philandering after they left the White House, but she stuck with him. Bill was certainly a big political asset early in Hillary’s Senate career, but his value was questionable by the time she ran against Barack Obama for the 2008 presidential nomination, and his baggage outweighed that value by the time she took the job as Secretary of State in 2009. By 2014-15, even before the #MeToo movement had really caught fire, Hillary got criticized for sticking with a victimizer husband, although it’s equally arguable that dumping him in that period would have looked politically motivated too. (However, it’s also clear that Hillary wasn’t listening much to Bill about the campaign by that time, to her own detriment.)
Had she spoken about the decision to stay with Bill in these terms in 2015, would Hillary have solved her “authenticity” issue? Probably not, given that her campaign got mired early in her e-mail scandal and her serial lies and prevarications about it. In fact, Hillary uses this interview to continue the pretense that it was much ado about nothing, when it actually was an attempt to corruptly hide her communications as Secretary of State from Congress and the courts, more than half of which got destroyed after her home-brew system got discovered. But talking a little more honestly about that “gutsiest” decision rather than put out starry-eyed photos of the two of them on the campaign trail might have helped with that problem, if only incrementally.
Robach also asks Hillary about impeachment based on her legitimately long track record on the subject. Rest assured that Hillary feels that Democrats are correct to go full speed ahead on an impeachment inquiry, not that this will surprise anyone:
Clinton said Tuesday she does not have concerns that Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are overreaching when it comes to pursuing the impeachment inquiry of Trump.
“I think the evidence concerning Ukraine is so dramatic and irrefutable because it came right out of the White House, so let the impeach inquiry proceed,” she said, referring to a transcript of the July call released by the White House. “I know that [House Democrats] will do a thoughtful, thorough job. Nobody should jump to any conclusions.”
I think dramatic and irrefutable is a little conclusion-jumping as it is, as it pretty much refutes the earlier allegations of explicit quid pro quos and intimidation.