The words “likeable” and “Hillary Clinton” may never have been used in the same sentence, until this very moment in time. Clinton made the “ballsiest” move of her career by finally getting candid with, none other than the god of all interviewers, Howard Stern.
TVT covered the story, and gave the former first lady mad props for handling herself like a champ. Of course Shapiro, who idolizes Stern, waxed poetic on how great of an interviewer he is. He also showered Clinton with praise over her willingness to leave her uptight image behind to show a side of herself that’s more relaxed/relatable.
Clinton did not attempt to deflect or divert anything. She answered every question thrown her way, even the gold standard Stern inquiry for female guests -“Have you ever had a lesbian experience?” Clinton rolled with it and even added some self-deprecating humor: “I’ve never even been tempted. Contrary to what you may hear, I actually like men.”
But girl-on-girl action wasn’t the scoop we really wanted, and Stern was one step ahead of the game. He asked Clinton for details on what we have all wondered about – What exactly happened on that fateful day, in 2016, when she lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump?
Clinton stated when she made the customary phone call to Trump, to congratulate him on the win: “He was so shocked, he could barely talk.”
Clinton then told the incredible story of sitting next to George W. Bush at Trump’s Inauguration speech. She recounted that everyone in her circle was just weirded the hell out by Trump’s ramblings and buffoonery.
One thing that stood out to Clinton, was the fact that Trump seemed to throw shade at people who didn’t vote for him. Clinton provided her take: “It was just so bizarre. That’s when I got really worried. It’s not what a President does. They’re supposed to reach out to all the people who didn’t vote for him, or her. They’re supposed to say ‘I’m going to be the President for everyone. I’m going to pull the country together.’”
But this is Trump we’re talking about, so of course, the moment became all about him. Clinton said that right after the speech, George W. Bush turned to her and summed up the experience with one epic line- “Well, THAT WAS SOME WEIRD SHIT.” (Clinton actually went for the “S word” and it got bleeped on Stern.)
Shapiro opined that Clinton’s appearance on Stern was a major PR victory for her, since she came off very real, relaxed and personable. He went so far as to claim that she may have actually won the 2016 election, if she had gone on the Stern show back then, and appealed to more male voters.
One thing was for sure, Clinton’s appearance on Stern got a major approval rating from Shapiro – “I never really liked her. I considered her to be a fake, phony politician. I didn’t vote for her in 2016, and I’m not saying I’m ready to vote for her if she ever ran again, but I have a lot more respect for her. I feel like I finally saw an honest side to her.”
Clinton proved she’s always had extreme confidence when she told Stern the story of how she and Bill met. They were in a library staring at each other, and she made the first move be approaching him with this smooth line: “If we’re going to stare at each other, we might as well know each other’s first names.” (Ladies take note.)
Clinton admitted that she had been in love with someone before meeting Bill, and even alluded to the fact that she was a bit of a player back in the day: “I was popular in high school. Boys were not my problem.” Stern pointed out that the one guy she loved before Bill, who she stated “looked like a Greek God,” must be depressed now that he didn’t get to be her husband.
Stern then steered the discussion back to politics by asking Clinton’s opinion on Obama. Clinton expressed great admiration and respect for the former President: “He’s not an insecure guy. He knew we needed a better relationship with leaders across the world, so he called me and said ‘I need you to be my Secretary of State, I can’t do this alone.’ He wasn’t afraid I would steal the show, and I respect him for that.”
Shapiro took a break from playing clips of the Stern interview to point out the weirdness of Fox News poster boy, Tucker Carlson, who decided to analyze Clinton’s coughing on his show. Yes, coughing. Clinton had a minor coughing fit during her Stern appearance, which she joked about and assured Stern she wasn’t “dying” (as people had claimed during her campaign).
This sparked Carlson’s bizarre decision to have a “medical expert” come on his show. “She has a chronic, recurrent, phlegmy cough- does she have an underlying respiratory infection?” Carlson asked. The “expert” brought up that Clinton stated she liked to eat jalapeno peppers and drink coffee, which are dietary habits that can lead to acid reflux, asthma and stress. (Wow, real cutting-edge journalism there Tucker.)
Shapiro pointed out how ridiculous it was to waste air-time on something so trivial. “It’s not like we have impeachment proceedings going on or anything. And this is coming from someone who said white supremacy is a hoax, he shouldn’t even be on the air.”
TVT then opened up the phone lines for callers to chime in. The general consensus was that Clinton’s Stern appearance helped show a more real, likeable side to her. But if these 5 callers were any indication of how the general public still feels, Clinton has a long way to go if she ever wants to run again.
Several of the big controversies that have caused Clinton to be labeled “crooked and untrustworthy” were thrown into the mix by the callers, including mishandling of Haiti funds, “people mysteriously dying around her” and of course, Benghazi. Shapiro pointed out there were eight Republican investigations on criminal activity against Obama and Clinton, which did not find them guilty of anything
But this didn’t stop a caller named Ron from referring to Clinton as a “Pig Bitch Enabler” and “a Pimp for her husband with Jeffrey Epstein.” It seems even a killer Stern show appearance could not soften Ron’s disdain. At least calling her “Pig Virus” would’ve kept things in the spirit of Stern.
The old saying rings true, haters gonna hate, but one thing we can’t hate on is Clinton showing the world that she’s one tough, funny, and down to Earth broad. And yes, Shapiro is right, Stern is the King of All Interviewing. We stan.