WASHINGTON, July 17, 2014 – A comfortable and confident Hillary Clinton appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night to talk about her book, “Hard Choices,” and to comment on the state of the nation and international developments.
Despite constant cajoling, prodding and even grilling by Stewart, Clinton did not declare that she is running for President in 2016.
She also did not say she would not run.
Stewart started the show by saying Clinton was on the show for “one reason only,” which was “to publicly and definitively declare her presidency.”
Clinton jokingly responded that she was going to make the announcement, but “you kind of spoiled it for me… so I am just going to have to reconsider where I go to do it.”
Clinton, who has become increasingly comfortable in front of the camera, exhibited warmth and wit during the appearance. She sparred comfortably with Stewart, refusing to be baited into a discussion of whether or not she is running for office. At times, both laughed openly and genuinely, and both visibly enjoyed the show.
As she has done during previous stops on her book tour, Clinton continually referred to the book and her comments in the book. Stewart has joked about the number of times Clinton says, “As I say in the book” in previous media appearances.
Stewart candidly said that “no one cares about the book” and that the only thing people wanted to know was whether Clinton was running for office.
During what Stewart called a “career aptitude test,” he asked Clinton whether she enjoys “constant, nonstop criticism.”
Clinton responded, “Enjoy is probably the wrong word. Expect? Survive? Live through? It just sort of comes with the territory.”
Although much of the interview was light-hearted, Clinton did touch on several serious topics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, income inequality and the state of democracy in the United States.
Clinton said she worries that young people are not going to have the same opportunities she and Bill Clinton had. She said, “We believed we could pretty much make our way up the ladder. And now, I think a lot of particularly young people don’t believe that anymore and that bothers me a lot.” She said there are currently six million young people who are not in school or in the work force, who have “kind of given up…and that’s a terrible development.”
Clinton also said we have to “change both our political and our economic system.”
The Congress, said Clinton, is no longer functioning, and there is “a very difficult situation in our Executive Branch.” Clinton said that the Executive Branch “has not kept up with the times.” She avoided criticizing President Barack Obama, however, noting that if he was on the show, he would agree with her.
Clinton said the United States is in “a terrible dilemma” in terms of the current crisis between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. She and Stewart both agreed “the world must do more for the people who are trapped by this conflict.”
Hillary Clinton has previously said she will announce whether or not she will run for President in 2016 by the end of the year. Many, however, see her book tour as a preamble to that announcement.
Clinton continues to dominate polls as the front-runner for the 2016 election, although pundits note it is far too early for the results to carry any weight. The latest RealClearPolitics poll, released earlier this month, shows that 65% of Democrats wants Clinton as their nominee for 2016.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported yesterday that a Hillary Clinton SuperPac has raised $2.5 million in the last three months, 47% more than it raised in the first quarter of the year.