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.