Give Hillary Clinton credit. She managed to elude the media for nearly three months between the announcement of her candidacy on April 12 and her first interview Tuesday, which is no small feat. Granted her interviewer was CNN’s Brianna Keilar, a former staffer for the Ready for Hillary Super PAC. But, in fairness, some — if far from all — the questions were substantial.
More importantly, several of Mrs. Clinton’s answers were eminently quotable, though not the sorts of things you want recorded for posterity. For example, her final answer of the Q & A — to the question of who best portrayed her on “Saturday Night Live” — included the observation, “I’m just going to be my own little self.” It’s an odd statement coming from a former secretary of state but even odder from a politician whose style has been anything but warm and cuddly, adjectives that description evokes. Think back to her rather caustic response to questions by House members about the death on her watch of four American diplomats.
But the most revealing — and hence quotable — answer Clinton gave serves as the headline of CNN’s own summary of the interview: “People should and do trust me.” The response came up in a section of the interview that began with this question:
We see in our recent poll that nearly six in 10 Americans say they don’t believe that you’re honest and trustworthy. Do you understand why they feel that way?
Clinton danced around the subject by evoking once again the vast right-wing conspiracy, which she claimed has been spreading lies about her, but Keilar was persistent. “Do you see any role that you’ve had in the sentiment that we’ve seen,” she asked, “where people are questioning whether you’re trustworthy?” That was met by more blame-shifting, finally leading to this exchange:
KEILAR: Would you vote for someone that you don’t trust?
CLINTON: Well, they — should and do trust me.
Keilar could have gone back to the CNN poll results she previously cited, indicating that 6 out of 10 respondents don’t trust her, but that would have made Clinton look foolish.
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