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On ‘Morning Joe’: High (GOP) Anxiety About Hillary Clinton

Editor's Blog Memo Pad Politics

On ‘Morning Joe’: High (GOP) Anxiety About Hillary Clinton


Having known Joe Scarborough for years, I always enjoy appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with him, Mika, Willie Geist, Mike Barnicle et al. And I’m well aware of the host’s quirks, which is why I wasn’t surprised when his producers asked me to appear this morning with Jamie Weinstein, author of a misfired hit on Hillary Clinton in the Daily Caller (a right-wing website edited by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson).

Weinstein’s conjecture is that despite her evident and enduring popularity, Clinton isn’t really a formidable presidential candidate. He repeats well-worn talking points about her record, suggesting that she did little in the Senate or as Secretary of State. He pontificated briefly about the supposed ease of her first election to the U.S. Senate in New York (a race that occurred when he was probably in elementary school). He thinks Democrats only support her because she’s a woman, or something like that — a tautological assertion that makes no sense.

As I pointed out, the latest data gathered by NBC News/Marist Poll indicate just how strongly voters of all varieties in her party support her – and how well she performs against any potential GOP nominee in battleground and early primary states.

If we’d had a few more minutes, I might also have noted several of her achievements as a freshman senator, at a time when her new home state was suffering from the aftermath of 9/11. She capably represented the interests of the city and upstate, bringing home considerable aid and assisting the afflicted, especially first responders — ask any of her Democratic (or Republican) colleagues, as Weinstein assuredly didn’t bother to do.

She helped pass important legislation to help the kinds of people who don’t matter much to the Daily Caller: women, workers, low-income children, armed forces veterans and their families. And she did much of it by working across the aisle, even with the likes of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who played a key role in the failed impeachment of her husband.

Whenever right-wing concern trolls start yammering about Hillary’s problems, I detect what psychologists call “projection.” What actually worries them, whether they realize it or not, is the unappealing Republican presidential field — which shows weakly in that same NBC-Marist poll. But denigrating her seems to make them feel a little better. For now.

Photo: Canada2020 via Flickr

Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers. Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003). Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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  1. bernieo February 24, 2015

    I read this kind of criticism of Hillary from liberal sources and commenters all the time. Most have no clue of the work she did for women and children or workers. They excoriate her because she was willing to work with Republicans. Or corporate leaders completely ignoring the fact that she did this in order to further her liberal causes. For example, after serving on the Walmart board she was able to persuade Sam Walton to spearhead a campaign to raise taxes on corporations to better fund Arkansas’ public schools. Instead people on the left trash her for working with the enemy. Naive and stupid.

    1. Wayneo February 24, 2015

      This just points out she knows how to govern – unlike the GOP.

  2. Daniel Jones February 24, 2015


  3. robertbenefiel@att.net February 24, 2015

    It does not really matter what people say about her and the arguments that they make against her because she will be the next President. I know many right wing people hate her because she is a Democrat, but I really do not care what they think. She will run the table with blacks, Hispanics, single woman, immigrants, union workers, and she will do very well with married woman, white males under forty. Jeb Bush will have problems with Conservatives who were burned by Bush #1 and 2 and will be unwilling to be burned again.

  4. Dominick Vila February 25, 2015

    I wonder how Hillary’s detractors feel about the qualifications of former heroes such as George W. Bush? Should we assume that almost bankrupting the family’s oil business and a baseball team represent a profound knowledge of domestic and foreign policy? Should we assume that Rafael “Ted” Cruz’s tenure as a Senator, focused strictly on telling Americans how relevant an asset his Cuban-Canadian heritage would be for us if he was elected constitute the epitome of presidential qualifications? How about Senor Marco’s qualifications, or Scott Walker’s to name a few? What the neanderthals see as a threat is the fact that an intelligent woman, with a relevant and impressive record, is likely to run for president…instead of baking cookies.

  5. Louis Allen February 25, 2015

    Hey, Joe Conason, keep thinking like that !
    For people like you, 2016 will be a BIGGGG surprise !


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