Morning Joe Hails Hillary, Still Hoping for Her Political Comeback

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Morning Joe swooned over failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as co-host Mika Brzezinski excitedly announced the 2016 sore loser would getting a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for “advancing the cause of women and fighting for gender equity” at an International Women’s Day summit in March. The leftist anchor also giddily announced that she would be interviewing Clinton as part of the sycophantic festivities.

After playing a soundbite of Clinton declaring “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” during a 1995 speech at a United Nations women’s conference in Beijing, Brzezinski hailed: “It’s with brave moments like that in mind I am thrilled to announce that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will headline the next month 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi.”

The host explained that the summit was “The inaugural global event from Forbes, in partnership with my Know Your Value platform” in order to mark International Women’s Day. She then gushed: “And exactly one month from today, I will interview Secretary Clinton as she receives the Forbes International Women’s Day Lifetime Achievement Award to honor her leadership and influential voice on the global stage in advancing the cause of women and fighting for gender equity.”

Brzezinski’s husband and fellow co-host Joe Scarborough cheered, “what an exciting announcement,” before turning to USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page and marveling over Clinton’s 1995 address: “…it was one of those rare speeches that really had a profound impact on the debate. I think about Bobby Kennedy’s speech in South Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, speaking out against apartheid….this speech in ’95 was such an extraordinarily important speech…”

Page promptly agreed and melodramatically argued: “…it’s remarkable to think, a quarter century ago, it was controversial to say that women’s rights were human rights and human rights were women’s rights.”

Turning to another Democrat, former Clinton campaign aid Adrienne Elrod, Scarborough heralded:

…you have been so fortunate to work with her….talk about her campaign in 2016. You go back and you look at the debates, you look at the warnings she gave the world. She warned Americans what would happen over the next four to five years and she was exactly right. As she has been on the cutting edge for decades.

Elrod repeatedly praised Clinton’s “character” and concluded: “I’m so grateful and so excited that she is going to be receiving this very prestigious honor because she certainly deserves it.” Brzezinski chimed in: “And also, at the same time, Joe, she’ll be able to really send a message to the world on an international stage, one in which she has a lot of experience with, traveling to hundreds of countries as secretary of state and also running for president.”

Page suggested a softball question Brzezinski could lob to Clinton: “…we’re curious about…what Hillary Clinton’s next chapter will be since the 2016 – that stunning loss….I wonder if this signals a more public stance that she will begin to take in public life again. And, Mika, I look forward to your interview with questions about that.” Brzezinski laughed and happily accepted the talking point: “I gotcha. Thank you, good tip.”  

As the segment wrapped up, Scarborough hoped a Clinton comeback was in the works: “There has been more talk, more chatter, especially in Washington, about Hillary Clinton looking at 2024 again.” Page admitted to being “a skeptic that she will run for president again,” but clearly longed for Clinton to be active in politics:

…that doesn’t mean she could not emerge as a significant force in the Democratic Party, in the nation, in the nation, in our debate as we move forward. And that’s what I’ll be looking for. I’ll be watching for what her plans are and whether she is ready to kind of step out in a more public area. I think even this award may be a sign that she is ready to do something a little different from what she’s done in the past five years.

Of course Clinton’s horrendous treatment of her husband Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment victims over the years was never mentioned as the panel applauded Hillary being a supposed champion of women.

Meanwhile, Brzezinski’s treatment of Clinton in their upcoming interview can be expected to be about as harsh as teenage girls gossiping at a slumber party.

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Here is a transcript of the February 9 segment:

8:50 AM ET

HILLARY CLINTON [SEPTEMBER 5, 1995, BEIJING]: I believe that now on the eve of a new millennium, it is time to break the silence. It is time for us to say here in Beijing and for the world to hear that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Part of a speech then-First Lady Hillary Clinton delivered in 1995 at a United Nations conference on women in Beijing. An address that had lasting effects on the empowerment of women and girls around the world.

It’s with brave moments like that in mind I am thrilled to announce that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will headline the next month 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi. The inaugural global event from Forbes, in partnership with my Know Your Value platform, will bring together generations of women to mark International Women’s Day. And exactly one month from today, I will interview Secretary Clinton as she receives the Forbes International Women’s Day Lifetime Achievement Award to honor her leadership and influential voice on the global stage in advancing the cause of women and fighting for gender equity.

Joining us now, we have chief content officer of Forbes and editor of Forbes, Randall Lane. Also with us for this conversation, Adrienne Elrod, she was a senior aide to the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign. And Washington bureau chief for USA Today, Susan Page. And Joe, a month from now, we’ll be in Abu Dhabi and that interview will take place live on Morning Joe.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, yeah, what an exciting announcement. But Susan Page, I wanted to go back and talk about that 1995 speech because I remember it was one of those rare speeches that really had a profound impact on the debate. I think about Bobby Kennedy’s speech in South Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, speaking out against apartheid. But this speech in ’95 was such an extraordinarily important speech, I really look forward to her following up and talking about it a month from now.

SUSAN PAGE [USA TODAY WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF]: And you’ll remember that it was controversial when she agreed to go deliver that speech in China. There were critics about saying whether this was appropriate. She made this speech, she made that statement, and I think pretty much silenced her critics. And you know, it’s remarkable to think, a quarter century ago, it was controversial to say that women’s rights were human rights and human rights were women’s rights. And that is a statement that would gather no controversy today because of the way things have changed thanks to speeches and stances like that.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, and Adrienne Elrod, you have been so fortunate to work with her. But we could talk about that 1995 speech. We could talk about what she did while Secretary of State. We could talk – actually also talk about her campaign in 2016. You go back and you look at the debates, you look at the warnings she gave the world. She warned Americans what would happen over the next four to five years and she was exactly right. As she has been on the cutting edge for decades.

ADRIENNE ELROD [DCCC FMR. CHIEF OF STAFF]: Yeah. And, Joe, you know, we could sit here and talk about all of the incredible things that she’s done from a public posture her entire career, going back to her Wellesley commencement speech in 1969, where she dedicated a large portion of her speech to women. But let’s also talk about some of the incredible work that she’s done behind the scenes. You know, being the senator from New York for several years, she focused a lot of her time on helping women in a very quiet way.

And most recently, Joe, something that hasn’t gotten a lot of headlines but to me is a testament to who Hillary Clinton is and her character, is she was working diligently behind the scenes to evacuate women and children from Afghanistan. You know, getting – procuring planes, you know, working with NGOs and other organizations to try to get as many people as she could out of Afghanistan. So to me it’s just a testament to her character. And I’m so grateful and so excited that she is going to be receiving this very prestigious honor because she certainly deserves it.

BRZEZINSKI: And also, at the same time, Joe, she’ll be able to really send a message to the world on an international stage, one in which she has a lot of experience with, traveling to hundreds of countries as secretary of state and also running for president.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, and Susan Page, again, we talked about her warnings during the campaign, during the debates. You talked about the criticism she received going to China. She’s now going into a region that, again, is a region that has had real challenges with women’s rights and some countries are trying to make more progress than others. So this is once again going to be a message, going to a region that quite bluntly is gonna be kind of like Billy Graham going to the Soviet Union. Not everybody’s going to be receptive to the message, but it needs to be said.

BRZEZINSKI: It’s gonna be fascinating.

PAGE: Yes. And of course this is a region with which the United States has long and complicated ties. And you know, it’s also, I think, a moment when we’re curious about whether Hillary – what Hillary Clinton’s next chapter will be since the 2016 – that stunning loss. She withdrew a bit. That’s certainly understandable. Wrote a book, has worked behind the scenes. But I wonder if this signals a more public stance that she will begin to take in public life again.

And, Mika, I look forward to your interview with questions about that.

BRZEZINSKI: I gotcha. Thank you, good tip.

(…)

8:59 AM ET

SCARBOROUGH: And Susan Page, really quickly, just again, the political person in me, I can’t help but go back to what you were saying. There has been more talk, more chatter, especially in Washington, about Hillary Clinton looking at 2024 again. Talk about that.

PAGE: Well, I am myself a skeptic that she will run for president again, but that doesn’t mean she could not emerge as a significant force in the Democratic Party, in the nation, in the nation, in our debate as we move forward. And that’s what I’ll be looking for. I’ll be watching for what her plans are and whether she is ready to kind of step out in a more public area. I think even this award may be a sign that she is ready to do something a little different from what she’s done in the past five years.

(…)

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