It’s this type of hard-hitting questioning that can send people out to the polls and vote their conscience – but only if they’re a judge at a first-grade ballet recital.
As a part of its Super Tuesday coverage, the February 5 “Good Morning America” featured an interview with liberal presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Clinton addressed several easy questions with comments about health care or threats of a “recession.” So, what pressing matter did ‘GMA’ anchor Robin Roberts ask Clinton to finish up her interview?
“And a final question – [I] want to take you down memory lane for just a moment,” Roberts said. “A picture of you, 7 years old, you’re in a tutu, no less, quite a pose you’re striking right here. What is it about that little girl that led you to this moment today?”
That’s right –the American people need the image, circa 1954, of Hillary Rodham Clinton in a tutu before they line up to go vote.
With Roberts’s softball questions throughout the interview, Clinton was able to stick with her standard statements about the need for mandatory universal health care and browbeating gloom into the economy.
“[Y]ou know, people who need a president, people who get up every day and work hard and see their wages diminishing and don’t have health care for their kids.” Clinton said, when asked about what she thought of her competitor, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), being endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver and Caroline Kennedy. “You know, celebrity endorsements are, you know, intriguing, very interesting. But, they need a president who is going to be on their side. And, with two wars abroad and a looming recession, people need a president who is ready on day one to be commander in chief and to turn the economy around.”
Roberts also tossed another softball Clinton’s way, by asking her to give her “final sales pitch.” But, it was just more of the same from Clinton.
“What I say is we have a lot of big challenges in our country,” Clinton said. “We have wars going on. We have an economy in trouble. We have 47 million people without health insurance. I have a plan for covering everyone with health insurance. Senator Obama does not. I have a plan to stop the rush of home foreclosures and all of the increasing interest rates on mortgages. Senator Obama does not.”
Clinton’s “47 million people without health insurance” is an inflated statistic. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10 million of those 47 million are non-U.S. citizens and roughly 17 million of those are people who should be able to afford health insurance because they make substantially more than the median household income of $46,326.
Clinton also explained her plan to solve mortgage problems on CNN’s “American Morning” February 5.
“Well, I would have a very aggressive policy toward trying to stop home foreclosures,” Clinton said. “Again, I’m the only candidate left in this race on either side who’s been talking about the mortgage crisis for nearly a year. We need to put a moratorium on foreclosures to help people stay in their homes and we need to freeze these interest rates that continue to escalate, driving more and more people into foreclosure. A lot of people were misled. They were the victim of predatory lending practices and we need to stabilize the housing market.”
But, as Massachusetts personal finance lawyer Stephen Heine pointed out to The New York Times, such a moratorium could be unconstitutional and likely very useless.
“A 90-day ‘moratorium’ on foreclosures is ludicrous, possibly unconstitutional, and of no help to someone who is already 6 months behind,” Heine said.