MSNBC’s Mitchell, WashPost’s Gearan Tout Hillary’s ‘One-on-One’ Skills; Todd Laments Her ‘Diplomatic Speak’

September 4th, 2015 3:51 PM

In the first few hours after Andrea Mitchell’s interview with Hillary Clinton, reactions poured in on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports and MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts that ranged from Rachel Maddow dismissing the growing e-mail scandal as “kinetic activity” to the Washington Post’s Anne Gearan fawning over her “one-on-one” skills to Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd excusing her non-answers as her versatility in “diplomatic speak.”

Not only after the final clips of the interview were shown, Maddow commented to Mitchell that “people are talking about” the scandal “so much” and actually seemed exasperated that “it’s getting so much attention” with “so many questions” unanswered.

That being said, Maddow quickly pivoted back to dismissing it all as “just an observation of how much kinetic activity there is” and then claimed that voters will only true start caring about the story “[w]hen people start worrying about the content of the controversy rather than just its existence.”

A few moments later, the topic shifted from Clinton’s non-answers on the e-mail scandal to praising her with Mitchell gushing to Anne Gearan of The Washington Post that Clinton “does connect with people one-on-one, very well.”

Gearan responded in complete agreement and lamented that there has “been a disconnect that's really been true throughout her public career” in which “[s]he comes across very differently in small settings and one-on-one settings in a small room” versus how she behaves in front of the media.

At the top of the 2:00 p.m. hour of MSNBC Live, Todd joined host Thomas Roberts to give his initial on-air thoughts and, to his credit, frankly admitted that Mitchell gave Clinton “the opportunity to fully apologize and say – you know, the secretary didn't want to go all the way there” at all.

In addition, Todd commented that “you could tell by her tone, the way that she realizes he needs to treat it as a serious issue and not a joke which she had done just a couple weeks ago.”

Towards the end of the segment, however, Todd invoked an excuse as to why Clinton has yet to be completely forthcoming about her e-mail server scandal:

When you are secretary of state, Thomas, when she talks about words, words matter even more so in diplomatic speak is a very, very careful language that you have to have as secretary of state and I actually am wondering does her carefulness actually come less from observing what she did in the presidency and more from her own experience as secretary of state where what you say, how you say it, may not matter to the American press corps, but matters a whole heck of a lot to the Jordanian press corps or the British or French press corps?

Continuing on that thought, Todd wondered if she hasn’t “broken out of that yet” and still allows for a “more careful” thought process with a “small ‘g’ governor” mindset “going on in her head.”

This excuse on Clinton was just the latest from Todd as he lamented both on December 7's Meet the Press and during NBC Nightly News on June 24, 2014 that Clinton remains unaware of the problems facing average Americans due to her living under Secret Service protection for over the past two decades.