Hillary Clinton spent an hour talking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and a handful of New Hampshire voters in a town hall on Wednesday night. For 59 minutes of it, she was excellent — empathetic, engaged and decidedly human. But, then there was that other minute — really just four words — that Clinton is likely to be haunted by for some time to come.
“That’s what they offered,” Clinton said in response to Cooper’s question about her decision to accept $675,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in the period between serving as secretary of state and her decision to formally enter the 2016 presidential race.
The line is, well, bad. More on that soon. But, the line when combined with her body language when she said it makes it politically awful for her.
Clinton is both seemingly caught by surprise and annoyed by the question all at once. Neither of those is a good reaction to what Cooper is asking. Both together make for a uniquely bad response.