Good Morning America's Martha Raddatz on Wednesday turned the program into something out of Entertainment Tonight, fawning over the "cool," popular Hillary Clinton who "doesn't care what people think." Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos enthused, "The Secretary of State has been sporting a new look these days. No makeup. No contacts. No blowouts."
Stephanopoulos, who previously worked for Mrs. Clinton's husband when he was in the White House, introduced the puff piece this way: "She is doing what she wants how she wants and seems to be having a great time doing it." As though she were interviewing Justin Bieber, Raddatz raved, "Let's face it, Hillary is cool. Trending. From the dancing and drinking photos during her trip to Colombia, to the iconic shot of the secretary texting on her C-17." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Raddatz referenced this new version as a contrast to the "buttoned up candidate Clinton" from 2008. The journalist reminded, "You know, the polarizing one?"
Hillary Clinton as polarizing? Not on Good Morning America. On January 18, 2007, GMA's Claire Shipman extolled Clinton's "hot factor."
Earlier in the segment, Wednesday, Raddatz insisted, "...She doesn't really care what people think and neither would any politician if they had her approval ratings."
Of course, with such sycophantic coverage, it's easy to see why Clinton has high ratings. Last week, NBC and ABC lamented the "tough spot" the detention of a Chinese dissident put the Secretary of State in.
A transcript of the May 9 segment, which aired at 7:13am EDT, follows:
ABC GRAPHIC: Hillary Clinton Unfiltered: Cutting Loose on the Road
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Hillary Clinton, now. The Secretary of State has been sporting a new look these days. No makeup. No contacts. No blowouts. She is doing what she wants how she wants and seems to be having a great time doing it. ABC's Martha Raddatz has been with Clinton on many of her diplomatic missions and, Martha, this change is pretty remarkable.
MARTHA RADDATZ: It is. You know, it doesn't matter how important her diplomatic mission. The question I've been asked more than any other when I return from a trip with Hillary Clinton is, "What is with her hair?" Or, "Gee, she looked tired." Well, we can say unequivocally this morning, that after all these years, she doesn't really care what people think and neither would any politician if they had her approval ratings. Yes, here she is, as they say, warts- well, there aren't really warts- and all. But there are freckles, wrinkles, the big black glasses and serious competition in the bad hair day department. This was no stolen moment for paparazzi. This was a news conference.
HILLARY CLINTON: I feel so relieved to be at the stage I'm at in my life right now because, you know, if I want to wear my glasses, I'm wearing my glasses. If I, you know, want to pull my hair back, I'm pulling my hair back.
RADDATZ: Let's face it, Hillary is cool. Trending. From the dancing and drinking photos during her trip to Colombia, to the iconic shot of the secretary texting on her C-17. When bloggers made up a few scenarios, telling the President and Vice President to get back to work. Rejecting a friend request from Facebook's mark Zuckerberg, Clinton weighed in with real texts. "Rolling on the floor laughing." "Scrunchie time." Ahh, the scrunchie. Those were the days when staff would cringe at Hillary's desire to pull her hair back. The days that eventually led to the glamorous First Lady, the evolving hair styles. Never the same one twice, it seemed. And then, to the buttoned-up candidate Clinton. You know, the polarizing one. But not anymore. Her latest approval rating is 65 percent. Just behind that fashion icon, Michelle Obama.
MAGGIE HABERMAN (Politico): People like seeing her having a good time. There have been years of questions about who is the real Hillary Clinton. You're seeing a side of Hillary Clinton you haven't really seen before.
RADDATZ: But then again, she is a woman who seems to be constantly changing. Or perhaps changing back to that Hillary from the Yale days before all this fuss about hair and makeup really began. So, does this mean she's out of politics for good? Well, she has said again and again she's not running for president. And we'll take her word for it now and enjoy the looser, more candid version, while we can. George and Robin?
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's right. She is just kicking back. Martha.
ROBIN ROBERTS: She is comfortable doing what she is. Good for her.