What Worries Hillary Late at Night, ABC's McFadden Wonders

Interviewing Hillary Clinton for Wednesday's "Nightline," anchor Cynthia McFadden speculated that a Bill and Hillary co-presidency could be a "good idea" and wondered what the New York Senator thinks about late into the evening. She sympathetically asked, "When you lie awake at night...what worries you?" Following Clinton's long answer about how "to whom much is given, much is required," McFadden approvingly remarked, "Good Methodist girl." In turn, Clinton accepted the compliment and asserted, "It is, indeed, who I am."

Back in December, McFadden posed a similar query. For that interview, the ABC host asked, "There's never a night when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say, 'I just, this just hurts too much?"

McFadden is clearly a journalist who appears to have chosen Clinton over Obama. She repeatedly peppered the former first lady over whether or not the senator from Illinois called to congratulate Clinton's meaningless primary victory in Florida. (The state lost all delegates after moving up its primary date.) After the Democratic presidential candidate told McFadden that Obama was "busy," the journalist complained, "Well, that's a little break with tradition, though, isn't it?" She impatiently added, "Usually, the loser calls the winner" and congratulated Clinton for "turning the other cheek."

As the election season continues, "Nightline" viewers can probably expect more McFadden questions about Clinton's secret, late night worries.

A partial transcript of the January 30 segment, which aired at 11:35pm, follows:

CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: Newsweek magazine this week says flatly if you're elected, it will be a co-presidency.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, that is not the case. I'm going--

MCFADDEN: Well, maybe it's a good idea?

CLINTON: Well, no, it's not. It's not. I learned that. I learned that the hard way, because it's important for the country to know who they're voting for. And every one in the White House is there only because of their relationship to one person, the president. [Apparent glitch. Last 10 seconds loops.] Well, no, it's not. It's not. I learned that. I learned that the hard way because it's important for the country to know who they're voting for. And everyone in the White House is there only because of their relationship to one person, the president. And it's in that.--

MCFADDEN: And then once in a meeting at the kitchen table--

CLINTON: No.

MCFADDEN: --you'll go, "Okay, we got to get tough now."

CLINTON: No.

MCFADDEN: "You, I'll be the nice guy, you be the mean guy?"

CLINTON: No, none of that.

MCFADDEN: As you know, Maureen Dowd wrote a very angry piece in The New York Times saying, How dare the first viable woman candidate for president, you know, be, keep dragged across the finish line by her husband?

CLINTON: Oh, dear. You know--

MCFADDEN: But do you, but do you, do you understand that there is that sort of dis-ease? That somehow-

CLINTON: Well, but you know, Bill and I are full partners. We always have been. And if you go back and look at the '92 campaign, the same things were said about me. That I was too outspoken. I was too passionate in my defense of Bill. That I stood with him. I was there to, you know, talk about what needed to be done. I think people, you know, can draw their own conclusions, of course. But nobody who knows me or knows him doesn't believe that, you know, I stand on my own two feet. I'm asking to be judged on my own merits. And I am happy to do that.

MCFADDEN: Okay, the snub. Did you or did you not extend your hand to Barack Obama? You shook hands with Senator Kennedy.

CLINTON: I reached out my hand in friendship and unity, and I'm still reaching it out. And I expect we'll shake hands at the debate in California. But again, the difference in this--

MCFADDEN: Was it intentional? Do you think he turned away?

CLINTON: You'll have to ask him. I don't know. But the differences between us are, you know, nothing compared to the differences between us and the Republicans. That's what I want people to stay focused on.

MCFADDEN: This is a big day for the Democrats with John Edwards stepping out of the race. You surprised me today. Someone in the press asked you, in Arkansas, we're now in Georgia, it's hard to keep it straight sometimes, whether or not you'd ask him for his support, and you said no.

CLINTON: Obviously, I would be honored and I would love to have his support and the support of his supporters. But it's a little bit unseemly to me. It's - kind of, you know, harsh to say, "Oh, okay, goodbye, hello." I don't want do that. And maybe that's a mistake. Maybe I should. Maybe I should swoop in. But I, you know, that, that's not how I am. I, I want to give respect to him in this tough decision of his.

MCFADDEN: When you lie awake at night, and I know you're not getting much sleep these days.

CLINTON: Not much.

MCFADDEN: What, what worries you?

CLINTON: It's not the campaign. You know, I have a very easy feeling about that. What keeps me up at night is what's happening to my country. That is what bothers me. I see so much uncertainty and insecurity. I was sitting there at the President's State of the Union Monday night. I thought to myself, "What country is he president of?" I'm thinking, 'We're better than this. You know, that's not the country that I grew up in." And I lie there thinking, "What would I do? What would I do if it were my child, or my mother, or my home?" You know, to whom much is given, much is required, and I just think that we've all got to do better.

MCFADDEN: Good Methodist girl.

CLINTON: It is, indeed, who I am.

MCFADDEN: But who the voters think she is may matter even more than how she sees herself or where she stands on the issues.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org