On Monday, NBC’s Chuck Todd came on PBS’s Charlie Rose show and handicapped Hillary Clinton’s 2016 prospects and the new Meet the Press host stunningly predicted one of Clinton’s biggest obstacles would be the liberal media.
When Rose asked Todd to rate Clinton’s chances, Todd responded: “If she were running to be the second woman president, I think she would not even be considered a frontrunner. She’d be just considered another candidate.” Todd then added: “There is a Clinton fatigue problem but it’s in the press corps.”
Todd then displayed how off-kilter the inside-the-beltway ideological barometer is when he listed another perceived Clinton weakness. That she is “much more hawkish” and “much more pro-business” than where the Democratic Party is today. (For the record, Clinton’s lifetime ACU rating in the Senate was a paltry 8.13)
However, Todd admitted those hurdles may not be enough to stop Clinton this time around because “the enthusiasm to break that glass ceiling may allow her to overcome those other issues.” And when Rose noted that “part of the reason she lost to Obama...was she did not have that historical narrative which was as powerful as his was in 2008,” Todd responded: “This time hers seems that kind of powerful. It does feel that powerful.”
The following are the relevant exchanges from the September 8 edition of PBS’s Charlie Rose show:
CHUCK TODD: I think that if Republicans win the House and Senate I think, I think quickly everything becomes 2016. I think the biggest thing right working against President Obama – in order to get something big done in these last two years domestically -- is if Hillary Clinton really does become an active candidate by January of next year. The minute that happens, she’s the leader of the Democratic Party that day.
CHARLIE ROSE: How would you measure the dynamics of the relationship now?
TODD: I think the most unique aspect of their relationship is I think they’re very similar people. Neither one of them are natural politicians. Neither one of them like the theatrics. As President Obama said to me “sometimes I don’t like the theater of the presidency and I don’t get it right.” I think Hillary Clinton struggles with that.
That’s what’s going to be fascinating to me watching her as a candidate again without Obama in comparison. Because I think we’re going to all see in a different way how she is more like Obama in personality in how she conducts politics and how she sort of hand to hand campaigns than she is her husband.
ROSE: Do you think her chance, her chances have increased or slightly decreased since over the last year?
TODD: I put it this way. If she were running to be the second woman president, I think she would not even be considered a frontrunner. She’d be just considered another candidate. I think the enthus - one thing I think that Washington media gets wrong. She has a - there is a Clinton fatigue problem but it’s in the press corps. I think there is much less Clinton fatigue in the Democratic Party than there is in the press corps which, by the way, is going to be a separate challenge for her.
The press that’s gonna cover her is gonna cover her with less enthusiasm and more skepticism than the way Democratic activists are going to embrace her and be enthusiastic about her.
All that said, she is, she is naturally not the populist liberal that I think the Democratic Party would like to have and she’s naturally not the -- I don’t want to say isolationist but she is not somebody who wants a more reserved foreign policy. She is much more hawkish than where the Democratic policy is on foreign policy and she’s much more pro-business than where the Democratic Party is.
So position-wise, I would argue she’s kind of out of step of where the Democratic Party is going to be in 2016. But I think the enthusiasm to break that glass ceiling may allow her to overcome those other issues.
ROSE: I think it was - part of the reason she lost to Obama, part of the reason, was she did not have that historical narrative which was as powerful as his was in 2008.
TODD: This time hers seems, seems that kind of powerful. It does feel that powerful.
ROSE: Is she different other than in terms, in terms, of their natural skills as a politician from him? Do they see the world any different?
TODD: Oh, I do think that there is a -- I don’t want to say she’s -- I think they’re both very pragmatic individuals. I think sometimes President Obama doesn’t get enough credit for his instinct, his pragmatism -- maybe too much so. And that’s why he is a bad negotiator. He sometimes negotiates from the pragmatism.