Barbara Walters gushed over Hillary Clinton, who made a surprise appearance on the ABC personality's last episode of The View on Friday. Walters wasted little time before exclaiming to Clinton, "Why don't you just take my place on the show?" The host later exalted the former First Lady as "someone we admire – and, for me, it's more than admiration – it's very deep affection."
Co-host Sherri Shepherd pointed out that Clinton has been on Walters' "most fascinating" list more than any other person. The retiring View host repeatedly used this label through out the segment, which lasted just over six and half minutes: [MP3 audio available here ; video below]
SHERRI SHEPHERD: What an honor to have you here, Hillary, because you've been on Barbara's 'Most Fascinating People' specials-
WALTERS: I don't call her by her first name-
SHEPHERD: But I – but I-
CLINTON: Hillary is fine; Hillary is fine-
SHEPHERD: Okay – oh my gosh! But, you know, you've been on the air more than anybody else, which is four times (unintelligible), Barbara. And you were the only person to be at the top of her list more than one time. So, can you please tell us, what do you remember most about Barbara?
CLINTON: Well, I want to start by – by saying, I can't believe this day has come, and I can't believe it's for real-
JENNY MCCARTHY (off-camera): Right-
CLINTON: Because I don't know what we're all going to do without seeing you going one place or another – asking questions we'd all like to ask. The 'fascinating' list has always been – you know, a particular interest of mine – and then, to be on it was an incredible honor.
WALTERS: Well, you were our most fascinating. And you're right, I feel like calling her Hillary. (Clinton and Shepherd laugh) I think you've been on our 'most fascinating' list more than anyone, and – and you were THE most fascinating. So, sit here and be fascinating! (audience laughs)
CLINTON: Okay. All right, I'll try. I'll put – I'll put on my fascinating look.
On the December 18, 2013 edition of her 10 Most Fascinating People special, the ABC journalist urged the former secretary of state to run for president : "I listen to you and I think, 'You got to run.' Something. You got to run."
As you might expect, Walters again asked Mrs. Clinton if she was running for president during the segment. When the topic of Chelsea Clinton's pregnancy came up, the panel asked her what she preferred to be called, in terms of "grandmother" or a similar title. Shepherd sympathetically cracked, "Do you like President Clinton?"
The outgoing ABC host used her "affection" term at the end of Clinton's appearance, and used the "most fascinating" label one more time:
WALTERS: No matter what their political views, you are someone we admire – and, for me, it's more than admiration – it's very deep affection, and I thank you for coming on. It was a surprise. I know you're a little busy.
CLINTON: You're hard to surprise- (audience applauds)
WALTERS: Oh, but I want to tell people – because she has a book coming out. You can pre-order your book, I think. It's called 'Hard Choices,' and you can get it online. No matter what she does, she will always, to me, be the most fascinating.
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.