ABC Begins 'Hillary Watch' 2016, Features Man Hoping She'll 'Save the Country'

Longtime Hillary Clinton fan Claire Shipman isn't waiting for the 2016 push. The Good Morning America reporter on Wednesday launched "Hillary Watch" and regurgitated talking points about a potential presidential bid. She breathlessly related, "But with the launch of an independent super PAC, the question is everywhere. Is Hillary ready to run?

Shipman also featured a Clinton supporter outside a rally. The man oddly enthused, " I think she'll run and she's got to save the country, right?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] She's got to save the country? From who? Fellow Democrat Barack Obama? The journalist added that it's "unrealistic" for the former Secretary of State to have a normal life. Shipman gushed, "Hillary Watch is officially under way. Just a few months into retirement, Hillary Clinton is back on stage." Despite the reporter's enthusiasm for the ex-First Lady, Shipman could not get her the nomination in 2008.

On January 17, 2007, Shipman described the primary battle between Clinton and Obama as "hot factor" vs. "fluid poetry." She rhapsodized, "Call it Obama wave collides with Clinton juggernaut."

On September 3, 2010, Shipman lauded the then-Secretary of State as an "international political celebrity."

During the 2008 election, she probed voters for racism against Obama, quizzing a sampling of Americans as to whether they thought the Democrat was "uppity."

On the April 3 Today show, Andrea Mitchell spun Clinton as a "rock star." 

A transcript of the April 3 GMA segment is below:


7:01 ET

AMY ROBACH: And two potential rivals for president, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden both taking the stage. They were together last night for a public event. Is this what the primary race in 2016 may look like?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, it's only 2013, but people are circling around.

7:08

ABC GRAPHIC: Hillary Clinton Front and Center: Speech Starts Buzz for 2016

AMY ROBACH: And now to Hillary Clinton making her first major public appearance last night since stepping down as secretary of state. At the same time, a high-profile effort being launched urging her to run for president. ABC's Claire Shipman has the latest from Washington. Claire, good morning.

CLAIRE SHIPMAN: Good morning, Amy. Whatever Hillary Clinton says, you're watching the start of 2016. She said she wanted a normal life for a while but that's not realistic. Hillary Watch is officially under way. Just a few months into retirement, Hillary Clinton is back on stage.

HILLARY CLINTON: Good evening, everyone. This is such a wonderful occasion every year.

SHIPMAN: Appearing at the Vital Voices awards ceremony, an organization she helped form as First Lady honoring accomplished women from around the world.

CLINTON: When women participate in the economy, everyone benefits, and when women participate in peacekeeping and peacemaking, we are all safer and more secure.

SHIPMAN: Clinton avoided politics in her speech but there on stage her potential 2016 Democratic rival, all charm.

JOE BIDEN: There's no woman like Hillary Clinton. That's a fact.

CLINTON: Vice President Biden and I have worked together on so many important issues.

SHIPMAN: Outside a group of supporters already rallying their support for the possibility of a Clinton 2016 ticket.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think she'll run and she's got to save the country, right?

SHIPMAN: In hypothetical matchups with Republican contenders Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, right now Hillary Clinton is the clear favorite.

RICK KLEIN (ABC News political director): No other candidate maybe in the history of presidential politics will be as prepared as she is with a fully formed network of people.

SHIPMAN: Clinton has told friends, family and the media that she plans to take a break and recuperate before thinking about her political future.

CLINTON: I'm going to be focusing on my philanthropy, my charities, my writing and speaking. So, I am looking forward to having something resembling kind of a normal life again.

SHIPMAN: But with the launch of an independent super PAC, the question is everywhere. Is Hillary ready to run?

CLINTON: To be back again is such a great privilege and honor.

SHIPMAN: And that audience she was talking to, women is critical. She has huge support among women right now, even Republican women. Friends say it would be natural for her in the coming months to keep courting this key demographic. George? 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Claire, Hillary doesn't have to step in for a couple of years if she decides to run but just the fact she's not saying no pretty much freezes the Democratic race.

SHIPMAN: That's right. There's going to be huge pressure on her, George, to make a decision. The Vice President, for example, won't make his decision until he knows what Hillary Clinton is doing. So I don't think she has a couple of years.

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