In a report for Friday's NBC Today, White House correspondent
Peter Alexander gushed over Hillary Clinton speaking at the Clinton
Global Initiative: "Call it Hillary Clinton 3.0." A sound bite played of
Clinton joking: "So after visiting 112 nations over four years, I'm
still jet lagged." Alexander added: "But no signs of wear..." [Listen to the audio]
Alexander continued the Hillary promotion as if she was already running for president: "[Clinton] is essentially raising the curtain on her next act, empowering women and girls.... Her recent return to the spotlight certainly appears carefully choreographed. The newly renamed Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and a brand new Twitter account, nearly a half million followers waiting to hear what's 'TBD.'"
On the June 7 Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly shared details of a Hillary Clinton biopic in the works ahead of 2016.
On Friday, Alexander wrapped up his puff piece on Clinton by highlighting another project of hers designed to raise her profile: "Today Clinton's formerly launching a new partnership...that promotes early childhood development, it's called, Too Small to Fail. And in the process, she's sort of making this very public shift from her past focus on global issues to those here at home. And it's an issue that she cares a lot about as well, her aides insist."
All this fawning over Clinton comes in the wake of the Benghazi scandal and amid new allegations that the State Department during her tenure quashed investigations into criminal activity by department officials.
Here is a full transcript of Alexander's June 14 report:
MATT LAUER: There's a lot of talk this morning around two participants at the global – Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, Hillary Clinton and New Jersey's own Governor Chris Christie. NBC's Peter Alexander has more on that. Peter, good morning.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: The Clinton-Christie Show; Today's Event A Potential Preview of 2016 Election?]
PETER ALEXANDER: Matt, good morning to you. In Hollywood, you know, they'd probably call this a double feature. You had Clinton who spoke Thursday, Chris Christie who speaks today, and as you noted, their actions are really fueling a lot of speculation about 2016. Think about this unique venue. Today it is Bill Clinton who could soon be advising his wife's next presidential bid, giving her possible rival Chris Christie the reins for a major platform to showcase his own leadership skills. Call it Hillary Clinton 3.0.
HILLARY CLINTON: So after visiting 112 nations over four years, I'm still jet lagged.
ALEXANDER: But no signs of wear, as both Clinton and Chris Christie share the stage, perhaps a preview of 2016. Not even five months after departing as secretary of state, the former first lady, for the first time kicking off the Clinton Global Initiative Thursday, is essentially raising the curtain on her next act, empowering women and girls.
CLINTON: When women participate in politics, the effects ripple out across society.
ALEXANDER: Her recent return to the spotlight certainly appears carefully choreographed. The newly renamed Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and a brand new Twitter account, nearly a half million followers waiting to hear what's "TBD."
As for Chris Christie, the Jersey-shore-reopening, carnival-playing presidential pal is the former President's guest of honor, speaking this afternoon, while his Republican rivals address a conference of religious conservatives. Insiders say, for the moment, Christie is focused on 2013, not 2016, eyeing his own re-election race in a heavily blue state. Here he was this week with Jimmy Fallon.
CHRIS CHRISTIE: Come on Jimmy, do you really think I'd come on this show to announce a presidential run.
ALEXANDER: Still plenty of time for that, Just 1,243 days to go.
MAGGIE HABERMAN [POLITICO]: 2016 is on whether either side acknowledges it or not, here we go.
ALEXANDER: At least for the moment, neither side is acknowledging it. Today Clinton's formerly launching a new partnership, by the way, Matt, that promotes early childhood development, it's called, Too Small to Fail. And in the process, she's sort of making this very public shift from her past focus on global issues to those here at home. And it's an issue that she cares a lot about as well, her aides insist.
LAUER: Alright, Peter Alexander. Peter, thank you very much.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I love political reporters. They were talking about 2016 the day after 2012. They just can't help themselves.