ABC’s Martha Raddatz Lauds Hillary Campaign Appearance: 'She Was on Fire'

At this point, really, what difference does having an election make? Watching Sunday's Good Morning America, you get the feeling that the liberal media have already anointed our country’s next president. On the October 20 edition of the program, ABC’s Martha Raddatz declared that Hillary Clinton was “on fire” while campaigning for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday.

Co-anchor Dan Harris kicked off the Hillary watch by pretending that Mrs. Clinton was making a comeback: “[A] lot of people talking this morning about the return of Hillary Clinton, attending her first political rally in four years on Saturday.” [See video below the break.]


Was Hillary ever gone? She was in the spotlight as U.S. Secretary of State for four years, and since leaving that post she has appeared at numerous public events, if not campaign rallies. In addition, the media have been talking about her 2016 presidential aspirations from the moment she left the State Department until now. Far from making a comeback, she has been in the media spotlight essentially since 1991, when her husband began to run for president.

Harris then brought Raddatz into the discussion, and the senior foreign affairs correspondent cheered Mrs. Clinton’s campaign appearance: “This was the first explicitly political event for Hillary Clinton in four years, and she was on fire campaigning for the Virginia gubernatorial candidate, her old friend Terry McAuliffe. She was a big draw, lots of applause and lots of fire bombs aimed at the Republicans.

Raddatz then excitedly relayed one of Clinton’s so-called “fire bombs” aimed at the GOP:
 

"Listen to this one. 'Recently in Washington, unfortunately we've seen examples of the wrong kind of leadership,' Clinton said. 'When politicians choose scorched earth over common ground, when they operate in what I call the evidence-free zone, ideology trumping everything else, that is not the kind of leadership we need in Virginia and America today,' she added."
 

It’s interesting how a journalist can get so excited when a Democrat throws a “fire bomb” at the Republican Party. Republicans who launch similar attacks on Democrats are routinely denounced as divisive ideologues who care more about their party than the country. Case in point:  how the media have treated Ted Cruz recently.

What’s more, this speech that featured “lots of fire bombs aimed at the Republicans,” according to Raddatz, also included a call for national unity to replace division. According to ABCNews.com, Mrs. Clinton made this remark: “I don’t have to tell you, I hope, that the whole country is watching this election. Watching to see whether the voters of Virginia lead the way of turning from divisive politics, getting back to common sense and common ground.” But nobody at GMA bothered to mention this hypocrisy.

This is hardly the first time Raddatz has fawned over Hillary. Back in January, after Mrs. Clinton testified before the Senate on Benghazi, Raddatz described her as “combative, charming, disarming and clearly ready for a fight.” In May 2012, Raddatz exclaimed that the then-secretary of state was “cool” and “trending.” And on yesterday’s This Week, which aired shortly after GMA, Raddatz could barely contain her elation at the thought of Hillary running for president.

Below is a transcript of the segment:

DAN HARRIS: Shifting gears now, a lot of people talking this morning about the return of Hillary Clinton, attending her first political rally in four years on Saturday. There she is at a campaign event for her old friend Terry McAuliffe, who is running for governor in Virginia.

HILLARY CLINTON: I've been out of politics for a few years now and I've had a chance to think a lot about what makes our country so great.

HARRIS: As you might imagine, this has set off another feverish round of tea leaf-reading about Hillary’s potential presidential ambitions. So let's go to Washington now and ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who is filling in for George Stephanopoulos on This Week. Martha, good morning. Since leaving the State Department, Hillary has studiously avoided politics -- until now. So what, if anything, should we read into yesterday's appearance?

MARTHA RADDATZ: Well, good morning to you, Dan. You know, those tea leaves seem to be easier to read this morning. This was the first explicitly political event for Hillary Clinton in four years and she was on fire campaigning for the Virginia gubernatorial candidate, her old friend Terry McAuliffe. She was a big draw, lots of applause and lots of fire bombs aimed at the Republicans. Listen to this one. “Recently in Washington, unfortunately we've seen examples of the wrong kind of leadership,” Clinton said. “When politicians choose scorched earth over common ground, when they operate in what I call the evidence-free zone, ideology trumping everything else, that is not the kind of leadership we need in Virginia and America today,” she added. She is a long way from announcing anything, Dan, but each day it seems clear that Hillary Clinton is itching to get back in the political theater.

HARRIS: Yeah, that does not sound like the rhetoric of somebody who has forsaken politics permanently.

RADDATZ: Certainly doesn’t.

HARRIS: Martha, thank you. And by the way, we're looking forward to watching you on This Week this morning.
 

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.