NBC Already Rooting for Hillary in 2016: 'She Would Clear the Field'
Eager to get a jump-start on biased coverage of the next presidential race, on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell salivated over a possible Hillary Clinton run: "Well, the conventions were barely over before politicians in both parties started talking about likely contenders for 2016, and overshadowing all others is the woman who wasn't even there."
Mitchell sympathetically observed: "Hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president, after losing a bitter primary fight to then-Senator Barack Obama four years ago." Mitchell then proclaimed: "She says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field."
If Clinton chose not to run, Mitchell touted how "the torch will quickly pass to a new generation of Democrats." After running down the liberal list, Mitchell briefly noted potential Republican contenders, "just in case Mitt Romney doesn't make it to the White House."
Returning to her clear favorite, Mitchell asserted: "Still, Hillary Clinton is the most experienced of any of the candidates in either party." She later added: "As one New York Times columnist wrote on Sunday, 'Hillary is the real comeback kid.'"
Here is a full transcript of the September 10 report:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We want to begin this half hour with a look ahead at names that could be on the ballot in the 2016 presidential race. NBC's Andrea Mitchell has more on that story. Andrea, good morning to you.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Savannah. Well, the conventions were barely over before politicians in both parties started talking about likely contenders for 2016, and overshadowing all others is the woman who wasn't even there.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Decision 2016; Will Hillary Run for President in 2016?]
With the 2012 conventions for both Democrats and Republicans now history, the traffic on the road to the 2016 presidential campaign is starting to build. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was halfway around the world when she watched her husband nominate President Obama.
HILLARY CLINTON: This is the first convention I have missed in many, many years.
MITCHELL: But even though she was 10,000 miles away, her presence was felt.
BILL CLINTON: President Obama appointed several members of his cabinet, even though they supported Hillary in the primary. Heck, he even appointed Hillary.
MITCHELL: Hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president, after losing a bitter primary fight to then-Senator Barack Obama four years ago.
CLINTON: Well, this isn't exactly the party I planned, but I sure like the company.
MITCHELL: She says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field.
TERRY MCAULIFFE: I think people know who the real Hillary Clinton is and they like what they see. And I think obviously she would be the formidable front-runner, no question about it.
MITCHELL: If she doesn't run and Joe Biden decides not to, the torch will quickly pass to a new generation of Democrats, like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, trying to stay under the radar by not coming to the convention floor in Charlotte. Those who did, like Maryland's Martin O'Malley, are already wooing Iowa delegates.
MARTIN O'MALLEY: What I'm focused on is the President's reelection because I know how critical that is to my own state's progress.
MITCHELL: Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar is clearly interested.
AMY KLOBUCHAR: I can see Iowa from my porch.
MITCHELL: And Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's fiery speech put him at the top of a lot of lists.
DEVAL PATRICK: It's time for Democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe!
MITCHELL: While in Tampa, Republicans also seem to be trying out for 2016, just in case Mitt Romney doesn't make it to the White House.
CHRIS CHRISTIE: Tonight I say together let's make a much different choice.
MITCHELL: New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie seemed to spend a lot of time in his keynote talking about himself instead of Romney. And Florida Senator Marco Rubio made a big splash.
MARCO RUBIO: Our problem is not that he's a bad person. Our problem is that he's a bad president.
MITCHELL: If the Romney/Ryan ticket wins, Paul Ryan would also be high on a list of likely contenders.
PAUL RYAN: We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again.
MITCHELL: Still, Hillary Clinton is the most experienced of any of the candidates in either party. But Jon Stewart made it clear who he hopes the future Republican candidate would be.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN [ANNOUNCER, THE DAILY SHOW]: This is the Republican National Convention: The Road to Jeb Bush 2016.
MITCHELL: As for Hillary Clinton, her longtime fundraisers certainly think she will run, but those who know her best say she has made no decision yet and doesn't have to for a while. But as one New York Times columnist wrote on Sunday, "Hillary is the real comeback kid." Savannah.
GUTHRIE: Alright. Andrea Mitchell in our Washington newsroom, thank you.