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Feature — Once Formidable Foes, A Formidable Team, A Close Friendship [Video]

THE FLAWLESSLY effortless, if surprising, interview on “60 Minutes” revealed something that cameras cannot lie about. The fierce bond between President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton that seemed unimaginable to many, but especially the media, goes beyond what can be understood from outsiders, including their own staffs.

“I consider Hillary a strong friend,” President Obama stated. “I mean, very warm, close,” Secretary Clinton added.

Clinton’s transparency about her concussion and the after effects were sobering, but the diagnosis is total recovery once she’s healed, for which we all are grateful.

Mrs. Clinton said she was still recovering from the concussion she suffered last month after falling and hitting her head. Among other things, she has to wear glasses for the time being instead of contact lenses. “I have some lingering effects from the concussion that are decreasing and will disappear,” she said. “But I have a lot of sympathy now when I pick up the paper and read about an athlete or one of our soldiers who’s had traumatic brain injury.” [New York Times]

Steve Croft gave deference, then called it impertinence when he asked about spousal reactions to tough words said in the long ago 2008 primaries. Clinton admitted it’s harder to watch a spouse in political combat than it is to be the spouse involved, while Obama just nodded the affirmative that his wife had difficulties too. And no one was more relieved than Clinton that Croft wasn’t going to repeat back what was said in the heat of the primary battle, which no doubt went for Obama, too.

When Croft asked about the obvious political implications of the two of them sitting for the interview in the first place, one he admitted he never dreamed of getting let alone ask for in the first place, both scoffed at the notion. Obama reminded Croft, with a smile, that he was just inaugurated four days ago, the interview with Croft taped on Friday.

“You guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.” – President Obama

Hillary did take the lead on the question about 2016, though the date was not uttered, saying no one can possibly know what will happen in four years. There was no Shermanesque statement that she wasn’t running. No “no.” Just that she was out of politics as Secretary of State and was forbidden to even hear the questions about a possible political run for the presidency, though not using these words.

“I don’t think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next year. What we’ve tried to do over the last four years is get up every day, have a clear-eyed view of what’s going on in the world.” – Secretary Hillary Clinton

Intended or not, it was Obama laying hands on Clinton in every respect, simply because it was owed her.

Watching the two of them, especially having been in the heat of the battle in 2008 and after writing the book that unpeeled it all, I was in awe at these two phenomenal American patriots. It chokes me up to think of how far they have come together and what a better place America is in today than we were in the bad old days of Bush-Cheney, et al.

The gratefulness I feel towards President Obama for asking Mrs. Clinton to serve as his Secretary of State is second only to the profound debt we all owe Hillary for accepting the President’s nomination, which came at a time of such intense personal and professional disappointment. It was second nature to put her country and her president first. She’d done it for her president husband when he so needed her, too. It reminds everyone again what we had these past four years; what a tremendous partnership they made and how much we often don’t appreciate what’s right before our eyes.

As a political analyst that goes double for the work I do daily, which is to constantly parse and pick every nuance of the political narrative and policy failures, as disapproval is weighed over approval from the outside looking in, scrutinizing the jobs President Obama and Secretary Clinton have done that are mostly impossible amid a political system that became beyond broken long ago.

If ever there was a time to be proud to be part of the Democratic Party it was during this interview. Never was there a starker picture of how the Republican Party suffers by comparison than in watching Obama and Clinton side by side.

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29 Responses to Feature — Once Formidable Foes, A Formidable Team, A Close Friendship [Video]

  1. fangio January 28, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    I wonder if Biden could feel that big sharp shank slicing into his back.

    • Marie205 January 28, 2013 at 1:51 am #

      Biden is good friends with the Clinton’s, he will be fine.

      • J200609 February 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

        Yep they are super good friends and they had breakfast every Tues. together when she was SOS. I doubt he was hurt that O did the interview with her.

    • angels81 January 28, 2013 at 7:04 am #


    • Taylor Marsh January 28, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Biden’s feelings are immaterial in the face of making history and electing the first female president, which absolutely must be Democratic.

      Mr. Biden, who I have met and who has posted on this site going back to before the 2008 election, is well aware of history’s arc and the importance of Hillary’s place in it IF-IF-IF she chooses to run.

      • fangio January 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

        Please send me tickets to the coronation. I’m also happy to see that you can read Mr. Biden’s mind and happen to know that he is aware of history’s arc.

        • angels81 January 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

          I’m sure Mr. Biden is well aware of the arc of history, and I’m sure he’s much smarter on that issue then you or me.

          • fangio January 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

            Yes! Biden is a genius. He has proven that in one campaign after another.

  2. jinbaltimore January 28, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    “…and what a better place America is in today than we were in the bad old days of Bush-Cheney, et al.”

    With the majority of Bush/Cheney policies continued and some actually enshrined?

    Hee hee.
    The tribalism, it blinds.

    • Taylor Marsh January 28, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      …and Obama Derangement Syndrome precludes people accepting truths in the midst of imperfection.

      • newdealdem1 January 28, 2013 at 10:53 am #

        Thank you for saying this, Taylor. I’m really sick of those who are always barking & sniping and are so extremely (emphasis on extremely) cynical no person in office has any worth to them except for those who run on a third party ticket which is delusional at best (and I voted third party for POTUS this year but I don’t share the same extreme cynicism as the never-ending barkers who rarely have anything positive to say about anything even outside of politics).

        And, ODS and CDS are alive and thriving for some (needless to say on Fox and those on the extreme of both wings). I’ve been critical of Obama and Clinton
        when I don’t agree with them and supportive and praising of both when I agree with their behavior both political and policy wise. But, to always condemn either of them when something positive is written about either and then call that positive comment tribalism or fan clubby diminishes their own legitimate criticisms of either Obama or Clinton and all they appear as are experiments of Pavlov where positive comments about either make these extreme cynics verbally drool their disapproval right on que.

        I loved their dual interview for all the reasons you stated, Taylor.

        I’ve more to say about it (later on when I get a chance for more). Suffice it to say the inane mainstream media’s response or certain people at CNN (Silly O’Brien and her gang from the Island of Broken Toys) and MSNBC (Morning Jackasses) is wearing very thin.

        Two people n my twitter feed made these two spot on comments about CNN regarding their reporting in general but specifically about the 60 Minutes interview with Obama and Clinton, which captures with wit and sadness what CNN has become and lost:

        “Greg Bach ‏@iGregBach

        @chocobohomo right now you can hear all of the investigative reporters @cnn fired smacking their heads and drinking their feelings. #doomed”

        “John Anthony ‏@chocobohomo

        “Are Barack and Hillary ‘Frenemies?’” Man, @CNN, I really hope you at least face your Peabodys away from the studio during broadcasts.”

      • secularhumanizinevoluter January 28, 2013 at 10:58 am #

        Ms MARSH!!!!! Was that rude?!!!!

        • Taylor Marsh January 28, 2013 at 11:39 am #

          I’m the boss around here. Consider it my personal f*#!ing privilege.

      • jinbaltimore January 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

        I guess Glenn Greenwald and all the others pointing out the similarites have it too, then….and that you do also, occasionally, when not busy fawning.
        Too funny how convenient your memory lapses are.

        If/when you (or anyone here) can come up with the “truth” (i.e. actual specifics) of these vast foreign policy differences between Bush/Obama, I’d love to hear about them.

        Finally, ODS = the Obamabots can’t even come up with their own syndrome!

        • Taylor Marsh January 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

          Yep, that’s me. I “fawn” over Obama.

          • jinbaltimore January 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

            and about those policy differences…?

          • Taylor Marsh January 28, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

            Unlike Bush, Obama was not involved in the policies that allowed faking the case for the Iraq war.

            Unlike Bush, Obama was not involved in the policies that created Abu Ghraib.

            Unlike Bush, Obama didn’t allow his lawyers to codify torture in law.

            Unlike Bush, Obama didn’t ignore Osama bin Laden he gave the order to cross another sovereign country’s borders to get him. Unlike some new media analysts, and speaking as a liberal, I cheered this action.

            Unlike Bush-Cheney, he also *tried* to make a statement on Israeli settlements, but got skewered by his own party for doing so.

            One of the biggest boons is that even at his worst, which is using a teleprompter when passion would work better, he’s more coherent and transparent than Bush ever was.

            Obama is not as militaristic as Truman, who was a vacuous sponge that was able to be molded by the men around him, and Obama does mimic the traditional history of Ds following too closely to Rs on national security. You’ll get no argument from me on this.

            Obama deserves criticism for drones, but I’m also of the belief given the other choices most Dems if made president would use them, too.

            But Obama is no Bush. Anyone who doesn’t see that is blinded by their own prejudices, partisanship or just too ignorant of the facts.

            Others will have to pick up here…

          • jinbaltimore January 28, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

            Regarding your first point, the Obama Administration is poised to “fakes us into war” in Africa:

            As to torture policies, he may not have designed them, but he continues to send prisoners to countries where he knows they will be tortured:

            I will concede the difference on Bin Laden, though I would disagree that it meets the definition of policy. i.e. if the Bush people had to do it again, I imagine they’d want the “score” too.

            Likewise, though, of course he is a MUCH better speaker than Bush was, I don’t see that personal trait as a policy difference between the administrations.

            As to your final point, I don’t think I’ve ever likened Obama the man to Bush, only the actions of their administrations.

          • Taylor Marsh January 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

            Well, sweet Jesus, jinbaltimore.

            As for bin Laden, your answer on Bush is chicken sh#! He said “I really just don’t spend that much time on him.”

            If you’re going to cite a post on Obama’s rendition policy the least you could do is use my own articles!

            The first line is: WHAT A total hypocrisy the Obama White House continues to be on this issue.


            Let’s also remember that Bill Clinton kicked up rendition without breaking a sweat.

            As for Africa, unless you were under a rock in the 90s, perhaps you remember Black Hawk Down? We started for “humanitarian reasons” under GHW Bush, which was dumped in Clinton’s lap & ended up a disaster.

            BUT AGAIN, if you’re going to cite these things how ’bout my own article???? This FROM BACK IN DECEMBER:


            But your vision of what Obama has done is silly, because he’s militarizing the whole frickin’ world. I say it often, but that’s our export. He sent troops to Australia, readying for China!!! You think I don’t know this???


            I know who Obama is. I’ve been a leading critic since the winter of 2006. So, I’ve never been disappointed, because he’s exactly as I thought he’d be, wrote he would be. I cannot believe I’m still having to write this in my own g*#!@*!m comment section.

            Progressives wouldn’t take on Obama directly over issues before the 2012 election, even if it was to make him commit on their most important issues. The third, fourth, fifth parties made an abysmal showing in the election again. We still have the Electoral College. There is only The System and Obama now runs it for the moneyed interests and the military industrial complex.

            And guess what, we’re better of with him than Bush, because at least Obama knows what’s going on and wasn’t an empty vessel, which is exactly what Romney was & would have been far more dangerous for the world. I stayed out of the 2012 election and not being an advocate ended up being an education.

            Please quit lecturing me on President Obama.

            Then get a grip. He now has won reelection. IT. IS. OVER.

            I’m not playing this game anymore.

          • jinbaltimore January 29, 2013 at 1:00 am #

            Fair enough.

            We are in agreement (based on your past posts) that their administrations are more alike than not.

          • Taylor Marsh January 29, 2013 at 8:39 am #

            jinbaltimore January 29, 2013 at 1:00 am

            “Their administrations” was not the subject.

            But nice try.

          • jinbaltimore January 30, 2013 at 11:09 am #

            My mistake, I took the statement that I commented on,

            “…and what a better place America is in today than we were in the bad old days of Bush-Cheney, et al,”

            to be a reference to the Bush Administration, not just to Bush the individual or the person. Sorry for the misinterpretation.

  3. newdealdem1 January 28, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Marie, thanks for your common sense response. Your continued comments on this blog live in the land of reason and wit as well. Appreciate your contributions around here. :)

  4. lynnette January 28, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    It was nice to see them being interviewed together. I am also grateful that President Obama appointed Hillary SOS – he has good instincts. And she has done a good job for him. It would be great to see the Democratic party make history again, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what Hillary decides. I wouldn’t blame her if she chose not to run, however; if she does decide to run, I hope the party would clear the field for her. Can you imagine the excitement she would generate? Well, I better not get my hopes up…yet.

  5. Betsy January 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Quite frankly I was disappointed in the past four years. I’m not sorry I voted for Obama, just that I felt that he let a lot of people down with some of the promises he made. Having said that I often wonder if it was because he never had enough votes to make all of it happen. My biggest disappointment I guess is two fold. I was very upset when he appointed Geithner as Treasury Secretary. And as we see now, Geithner let his buddies get away with huge bonuses. I just hope Lew is better. And not closing Guantanamo was another big disappointment. But having said this, I have to say that he did accomplish quite a bit his first four years.

    Since I’m married to a retired AF pilot, we had long discussions about the drone and its worth. As my husband said, it was to him a good thing because we didn’t have to send fighter jets into action with real mens lives at stake. Civilians? Yes, but as my hubby said, fighter jets do just as much damage as drones regarding civilian populations. Yes there are actual eyes in the cockpit that can see civilians but again, he just feels drones are the way to go.

    I only hope now that he has the wind at his back he can get the things done that he promised. At least now he knows that the other side of the aisle will never compromise. Am I so naive? I hope not. I do believe that the tea party has lost steam. Of course there are some “hanger ons”, but I think they are now in the minority. Do I believe that a lot of the hatred towards Obama is racial? Yes, I do. I can give many examples from my husbands own family, such as, “why doesn’t he talk about his white side, why always about his black side.” Ignorant and stupid remarks like that make my blood boil. I think the fact that we have the first black President has brought out the worst in people.

    I only hope that Hillary will be our next President. But then again, she has to have the desire to want to run again. Someone said that once you’ve run, you want to try again. But I wonder if she’s so tired that she just wants to rest. Four years is a long time and I just hope that she will think about it seriously. At least she didn’t say “No” in this interview.

    Well, I’ve rambled on enough. Sorry about that Taylor. I just wanted to let you know that I was disappointed but also glad that we didn’t have McCain as President. Imagine that? I think he’s turned in to a bitter vindictive old man.

    • Taylor Marsh January 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Thanks so much for sharing your views, Betsy. I so appreciate it and boy do I hear what you’re saying.

      • lynnette January 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

        I hear what you’re saying, too, Betsy. A lot of hopes, some disappointments, and who really does know what the future holds? – even for Hillary. It takes so much effort and energy to run for office and once you get there it can be so thankless. I really do think President Obama tries to get things done in a forward way even if it’s incrementally. He tends to be a compromiser. Maybe that’s the only way to get things done in this current climate. The Republicans in Congress have abused the fillibuster so much – it’s unprecedented – and many districts around the country are gerrymandered, much more so than in the past – which I believe affects the President’s ability to accomplish things. Having said that, I think he has really tried and has done pretty well considering the obstacles. I really loved what the Rev. Adam Hamilton (I think that’s his name – from Kansas City) said at the Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral (it was on C-SPAN). He thanked President Obama for all he’s done. I’m not sure any candidate would have accomplished anything more while running for reelection. Maybe with the country’s demographics changing, we’ll get more progressive down the road. I think we’ve seen glimmers of it with the gay marriage issue, etc.

  6. Betsy January 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Oh, and by the way, LOL, I loved the interview. And I personally think Obama was saying that he will completely support Hillary if she decides to run.

  7. Lake Lady January 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    I think an important thing that they were saying is that in America fierce political rivals can put country over ego and work together for their country. The fact that they have become friends has probably been a surprise to both of them.

    Like Betsy I was very disappointed with the first term but I am liking his new attitude and methods so far, much smarter. He has the rethugs on the ropes. We all knew he was a very smart man and now we know that he can really learn lessons and retool.

    Considering the SYSTEM that Taylor describes that we are all locked into, we are lucky to have Obama at the helm.

    His response to Sandyhook has changed my opinion of him as a person. I am thankful that it has.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong