Morning Joe Fails To Explain What Qualifies Hillary Clinton To Be President

Amidst all of the talk at MSNBC about whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, an interesting thing happened on Morning Joe on Thursday, April 10. Appearing as a guest, Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine asked “What achievement, one sentence, what has Hillary Clinton done? What's her achievement in politics that qualifies her to be President of the United States?“

Hilariously, the entire panel, including liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski, was unable to list one achievement made by Clinton, with John Heilemann of New York Magazine proclaiming “when her book comes out in June that that's one of the questions that book is going to try to answer.” [See video below.]

The segment began with Kristol challenging the MSNBC dogma that Hillary is the best candidate for president in 2016:

I think Claire McCaskill is more qualified to be the Democrat nominee for president than Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren. She's done more in her life and more in the Senate than either of them…I'll say she's been a more impressive member of the Senate than Hillary Clinton was in her six years.

And Hillary Clinton was a failure as Secretary of State. So why is Hillary Clinton so well qualified to be president? What achievement, one sentence, what has Hillary Clinton done? What's her achievement in politics that qualifies her to be President of the United States? 

Co-host Joe Scarborough reiterated his agreement of Kristol’s assessment of the 2016 Democratic field: “If we're talking about a woman in the Democratic Party most qualified to be President of the United States, Claire McCaskill's in first place. She has done so much in her life.”

After Scarborough’s statement, Heilemann quickly shot back “You mean apart from Hillary Clinton… Claire McCaskill is more qualified to be the President of the United States than Hillary Clinton?”

NBC’s Chuck Todd followed up by desperately attempting to excuse Clinton’s lack of achievements as Secretary of State:

I think that they wouldn't try to do it as one issue. I think they would say she was pushing her passions of expanding women's rights. She’d talk about what happened in Burma. She’d talk about the de-escalation that they had in Gaza preventing at the time when they thought there was going to be an escalation in Gaza between the Israelis and the Palestinians and getting Egypt to back off. But look. Is there a one big crowning achievement where you see her right there and then in a crisis moment as Secretary of State especially compared to, for instance, John Kerry?

I mean in many ways the problem she's got about her four years as Secretary of State is the comparison to John Kerry who's been -- he throws himself into every controversy. And Secretary Clinton she’d get involved, but she played a much more quiet role. She never liked to play as public of a role as Kerry. So I think that that comparison is going to be something she has to deal with on the trail.

Heilemann concluded the segment by insisting that “I think they will say -- I think they will say that she did a -- she had a big role in repairing America's battered image around the world through all of her travels around the world.”

It’s amusing that the Hillary Clinton cheerleading network was unable to name one thing Ms. Clinton has done to make her qualified to be president, yet don’t expect that to stop the MSNBC hosts from promoting her candidacy.

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Morning Joe

April 10, 2014

7:22 a.m. Eastern

BILL KRISTOL: Well, I honestly, I’ll make an honest statement. I think Claire McCaskill is more qualified to be the Democrat nominee for president than Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren. She's done more in her life and more in the senate than either of them.

JOHN HEILMANN: I’m sure Claire McCaskill will be thrilled to have your backing.

KRISTOL: I’ve just damaged Claire McCaskill’s prospects.  

HEILEMANN: What a powerful endorsement that will make for her in the Democratic primary.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: There have been people in New York State that have also said that if Hillary doesn't run, then expect to see Kirsten Gillibrand run. But there are a lot of really good qualified candidates. I do think, though, Elizabeth Warren is going to have something in 2016 that both parties are going to be hungry for. And that is somebody outside the Washington establishment. She scares people in Washington. She scares people on Wall Street. And you get that candidate in the Democratic caucus in Iowa with a little bit of wind behind her, and --

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Oh my lord.

SCARBOROUGH: It's a prairie fire. And the same thing is the case on the Republican side too. People here that are sitting three years out going it's going to be Bush versus Clinton do not understand Washington. They might understand Washington, but they don't understand where the country is right now.

BRZEZINSKI: Think about her trajectory too. Because she created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, then got kicked out of Washington and then worked her way back in by running for Senate. Not only is she a prairie fire, she’s a scrappy fighter.

SCARBOROUGH: I do agree, though, what Bill said. If we're talking about a woman in the Democratic Party most qualified to be President of the United States, Claire McCaskill's in first place. She has done so much in her life.

HEILMANN: You mean apart from Hillary Clinton?

KRISTOL: No.

SCARBOROUGH: No.

HEILMANN: Claire McCaskill is more qualified to be the President of the United States than Hillary Clinton?

SCARBOROUGH: I think she’s as qualified. Yes I do.

BRZEZINSKI: Claire would be amazing.

HEILEMANN: But more qualified I think is what he said.

BRZEZINSKI: She’s heading the Ready for Hilary--

SCARBOROUGH: Other than Hillary. Okay, come on.

KRISTOL: I'll say she's been a more impressive member of the Senate than Hillary Clinton was in her six years. And Hillary Clinton was a failure as Secretary of State. So why is Hillary Clinton so well qualified to be president? What achievement, one sentence, what has Hillary Clinton done? What's her achievement in politics that qualifies her to be President of the United States? 

HEILEMANN: I'm not going to do a Hillary Clinton ad.

SCARBOROUGH: You know, the thing is --

KRISTOL: I'm not hostile to her. I respect her, but she's no more qualified than an awful lot of governors and senators who have made it on their own I would add and have done more in the Senate or governorships than her.

SCARBOROUGH: There is a question to ask. What was Hillary Clinton's main achievement as Secretary of State? We’ve heard she’s a great Secretary of State. What's her one big achievement?

HEILEMANN: I think that will be when her book comes out in June that that's one of the questions that book is going to try to answer. Because she recognizes that it's a question that a lot of people will ask.

SCARBOROUGH: So is there an obvious -- Chuck Todd. What would the Clinton campaign say is the great achievement of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State?

CHUCK TODD: I think that they wouldn't try to do it as one issue. I think they would say she was pushing her passions of expanding women's rights. She’d talk about what happened in Burma. She’d talk about the de-escalation that they had in Gaza preventing at the time when they thought there was going to be an escalation in Gaza between the Israelis and the Palestinians and getting Egypt to back off. But look. Is there a one big crowning achievement where you see her right there and then in a crisis moment as Secretary of State especially compared to, for instance, John Kerry? I mean in many ways the problem she's got about her four years as Secretary of State is the comparison to John Kerry who's been -- he throws himself into every controversy. And Secretary Clinton she’d get involved, but she played a much more quiet role. She never liked to play as public of a role as Kerry. So I think that that comparison is going to be something she has to deal with on the trail.

BRZEZINSKI: It'll be hard because also the Republicans will say during the crisis moment, Benghazi, where were you?

HEILMANN: I think they will say -- I think they will say that she did a -- she had a big role in repairing America's battered image around the world through all of her travels around the world.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.