What Hillary Clinton really thinks

Ezra Klein: Secretary Clinton, thank you for being
here. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Thank you, Ezra, glad to talk to you again. EK: So I wanted to start with a part of the
book that surprised me the most, which was you almost ran on the beginning of a universal
basic income in America, which you were gonna call Alaska for America. Tell me a bit about that idea and why it didn’t
make it into the final campaign. HRC: Well I wanted very much to convey a commitment
to trying to figure out ways to raise incomes. Most of the emphasis on the campaign was,
as you know, on jobs and some big projects like, really, the infrastructure program that
I put forward. But I was also really interested in what else
we were gonna be needing to do. And so I looked at a couple of different approaches
to what’s called UBI, universal basic income. The experiments that had been tried elsewhere. And the Alaska for America idea was really
intriguing to me because in effect it was to argue that our natural patrimony really
does belong to every American — to try to break mindset that the extraction of resources
is a totally private sector effort. That we, as Americans, have a stake in it
for all the reasons that you can understand. And the Alaska model where they write a check
to every single Alaskan every year based on a formula about the oil and gas revenues was
really intriguing to me. And we dug deep, we tried to explain it to
some people, and it just was hard for people to grasp what we were talking about because
most Americans in the Lower 48, as we like to say, didn’t have any idea about what
was going on in Alaska. So I kept looking for an opportunity to put
it in but not to make it a centerpiece of the campaign. EK: What would’ve going into a program like
that? When you talk about our natural patrimony,
what would have been the inputs to that income? HRC: Well that was one of the challenges we
had — trying to figure out exactly, when you look nationwide, are we talking about
fossil fuels, which then might perversely encourage the continued extraction of fossil
fuels, which would be an outcome that we weren’t necessarily thinking was in the best interest. Other kinds of natural patrimony — whether
it’s minerals or anything else that you could look at and say, “Extracting that,
making private profit off of that, is really part of America’s legacy.” There were lots of really interesting questions. We debated it for a long time — the fossil
fuels, climate change issues was one of the complications. EK: So the reason I start with that is when
you talk about, in the book, you say at the end, “You know, maybe I should’ve proposed
that and left the details to be worked out later.” And it seems to me that this is one of the
pieces of the campaign that you’ve been left reevaluating. You say that you now have more of an appreciation
for the power of big, galvanizing ideas. Do you think that one of the lessons of watching
Bernie Sanders, of watching Donald Trump, is that perhaps the correct role for policy
in a campaign is to inspire? And that the place for technocratically sound,
more pragmatic policy is in the legislative process? HRC: Well, that certainly is a fair conclusion
to draw from the way I try to raise the question. If I could, Ezra, because you’re a policy
person and I love that about you, let me talk about this a little bit more, because this
was a struggle from the very beginning. This wasn’t something that I only thought
about retroactively. I felt that I was in the following posture:
I was running to succeed a two-term president from my own party who I happen to believe
did a really good job on some very difficult issues. And whether it was saving the economy, saving
the auto industry, getting us on the path to universal health coverage with the Affordable
Care Act, I knew how hard it was to actually get to where we got. And I worried that if I were to say, “Well,
let’s go all the way, you know, with this and we’ll leave the details ‘til later,”
the natural question is, “Well, why didn’t that happen before?” And I knew that would be my burden to bear,
because I would have the responsibility having been in the administration to be able to answer
that question. Secondly, I don’t think I’m held to same
standard as anybody else. I believed that if I were to say let’s do
a carbon tax, let’s do single-payer tomorrow, let’s do whatever it is that might be viewed
as universal and inspiring, unlike either my primary opponent or my general election
opponent, who were never pinned down — except in one case in the primary with respect to
Sen. Sanders — I would’ve been hammered all the time. “Okay, how are you going to do that? How are you going to pay for it? Where’s the money going to come from?” If I had said we are going to leave it to
the legislative process over here, they’ll figure it out, people would’ve said, “Well,
you’ve been around, you know how it works. How are you going to do that? You don’t have 60 votes.” I think I would have been hit with a thousand
different legitimate questions, and I think I would have felt an obligation to answer. So finally, you know, I do think policy matters,
and I think where I came out really made sense for the country, made sense for the Democratic
candidate. But it was hard to compete with, you know,
just the big claims and the assertions that I got from both sides. And maybe I could’ve been — in fact, I’m
sure I could’ve been — somewhat more adept at trying to maneuver through that, so that
I got the benefit of saying here’s what we are going to do. I thought saying, “Look, we are gonna get
to universal coverage ’cause that’s my goal — we’re at 90 percent now. I think getting from 90 to 100 is a lot easier
than starting over” — I thought that made sense to people. I think in the end, a lot of people who were
going to vote for me believed that. But, you know, that’s what you do when you
take a retrospective, like what could I have done differently? EK: So as someone that would have been asking
those agenda questions — HRC: You would’ve been pinning me down,
and it would have been quite hard! EK: And here is my question on that, though:
Do you think that those questions matter because people would care about them? Or because you would care about them? Something that I have observed watching Trump
and other politicians in this era is that a lot of what we thought can hurt a politician
is actually a relationship between them and the press. It’s their own shame, their own sense that
they’ve been pinned down, their own desire to actually respond to what they feel is a
fair critique. If you just don’t have that desire, if you
don’t care about that particular kind of critique, it appears to lose at least some
of its power. HRC: Ezra, you are 100 percent right. EK: Thank you. HRC: I feel like we are having a therapy session
in front of this camera. You are 100 percent right, and I can’t change
who I am. I knew that. I knew that I am not someone who will say
things that aren’t true, that will not take responsibility. I had to run as me. I love when people say, “Oh, if only we
knew her more, or she were more authentic.” I’ve been around a long time. I am what I am. I care about being absolutely as accurate
as possible so people know how to judge what I’m saying. But I think this was not just a slight shift;
this was a ground-shaking shift. Because I’m someone who’s observed presidential
elections a very long time, and I always saw there would be a moment, maybe one or two,
where in a debate or in a really important interview the candidate was asked, “How
are you going to do that? Explain to me how that would work.” That was certainly my experience in ’08. I saw my husband go through it — in fact,
it probably saved his campaign. I saw, you know, President Obama go through
it and be able to say both in ’08 and ’12, look, here’s what we are going to do, and
I think this is realistic and we are going to get it done. But it’s going to make a difference. He went from the specific to the upstretched
hands of the aspirational promise. Yet it had to be connected to something that
was real. And, you know, I’ve been around a long time. I know how hard this is. And I didn’t want to be either not telling
the truth about what was going to happen and not being responsible about what I thought
we could do and get done together, which I thought could be a pretty big deal. But clearly in a reality TV campaign like
the one we were seeing in 2016, it was not the same at all. I never had those moments that I thought would
come. EK: So you talk about you are what you are. HRC: I am what I am. EK: You are what you are. And one of the things that was interesting
to me in the book was actually how you frame your own history in political organizing. So I’ve read your speech from Wellesley,
and it had always sounded like the words of a radical to me. But when you explain about how you thought
about running for student body president, you said that “I ran for student government
president in 1968 because I thought I could do a good job convincing college administrators
to make changes students wanted.” You talk about your work with the Children’s
Defense Fund and focus on field work and making reports. This is all in a period when a lot of people
around you were interested in upending systems. How did you become more of a pragmatist who
wanted to work within the systems in a radical era? HRC: Well, there are always people who want
to upend system. And I respect the desire for being part of
big change; I think that’s important particularly when younger when you want to see that happen. But I also became convinced early on that
in my understanding of change, it was rare that in America you got those huge moments
of opportunity. We saw it with President Johnson, with voting
rights, civil rights, Medicare, Medicaid, with enormous Democratic majorities in the
House and the Senate, so a governing party could actually implement what it chose to
pursue. But that’s not that common in American political
history. And as I watched what the hard, slow boring
of hard boards that Weber talks about meant in our country — it was really digging in,
getting to know what you’re talking about, making the case. And sometimes you still ran into an immovable
political obstacle, but then you regrouped and you went on again, which is what I did
with health care in the 1990s when we ended up with the Children’s Health Insurance
Program. So I’m really interested in change, I’m
really interested in the principles and the values that I believe America stands for,
but I also know what it takes to get where we need to go politically. And that’s what I decided was the most effective
way to achieve what I was looking for. EK: This feels to me like the argument that
has been at the center of both your ’08 and ’16 candidacies and that you have had
trouble making. In both of those elections — in the primary
of ’08 and then both in the primary and the general of this year, last year — you
ran against people who in some way or another were saying they were going to upend whole
system. They were going to bring hope and change,
they were going to bring a political revolution, they were going to drain the swamp, whatever
it might have been. In those cases you’ve always taken the stance
that you actually need to understand the system, you need to work within it, the angels are
not going to come down with their violins. And that has been I think simultaneously a
realistic and very hard-to-sell message. I had a piece that I had written for if you
had won, and it was called “Hillary Clinton’s Political Realism,” and it was about the
ways in which your vision of success was much less about upending America’s political
system and much more about the change you can bring within it. Why is that such a hard message to sell to
the American people? HRC: I don’t think it used to be quite as
hard. I think it could be made harder because of
the environment in which we find ourselves right now — but you see, I think I’m also
very realistic about the forces arrayed against the kind of change I want to see. There’s a big move for change coming from
the right that I think would be disastrous for our country. They want radical, pull-em-up-by-the-roots
change, they want to have a constitutional convention to rewrite our Constitution to
make it friendlier to business, to inject religious and ideological elements. So talk about radical change — they are
pursuing it, they are funding it, and they are electing people who are either true believers
or willing vehicles for it. So what do we do on the other side? Because we don’t control media the same
way the right does; it’s harder for our message to get out. So it’s okay to say all right, let’s really
work for change, but you’re going to have to build an edifice under that that has the
kind of hard-fought political realities that are going to be necessary to stand against
the right. I thought and obviously came close — won
the popular vote and all of that — but I thought at end of day, people would say, look,
we do want change, and we want the right kind of change, and we want change that is realistic
and is going to make difference in my life and my family’s life and my paycheck. That’s what I was offering. And I didn’t in any way want to feed into
this not just radical political argument that was being made on other side but a very negative
cultural argument about who we are as Americans. So there was so much happening in this campaign
and a lot of it for the first time — some of it as a result of long trends — that
I was running just trying to figure out, okay, people are really that anti-immigrant? Are they really, or is that just a convenient
excuse to rally a base? How far does that really go? It was a tough terrain that we were moving
through and trying to understand. EK: This is something I think about in my
own writing. Is it possible to be too realistic about the
forces arrayed against change, about the institutional constraints against change in the American
political system — so realistic that you miss openings, so realistic that it’s hard
to inspire people? And as such, it actually begins driving the
outcomes themselves. I feel like this is the critique of this kind
of politics. HRC: I think it’s a fair critique. I understand that critique. But I don’t think the press did their job
in this election, with very few exceptions. So the hard questions about what was real,
what was realistic, and what could happen with the right kind of election outcome were
never really joined. And so I found it frustrating obviously because
I think I could’ve defended and lifted up a lot of what I believed we could do. But really, Ezra, when you get 32 minutes
in a whole year to cover all policy, how does that work? Compare it even with ’08, when you had 200
minutes on broadcast TV — you think, well, is it that people are really not interested,
or is it that it’s just not as enticing to the press because the other guy’s running
a reality TV show, which is hard to turn away from. And whatever we says we think is kind of goofy,
but hey, it’s good TV, and she’s over there saying here’s how we’re going to
raise taxes on wealthy and here’s what we’re going to do to close loopholes and here’s
where I think I can do it, and you know what, she’s going to win anyway. So let’s cover other guy ’cause he’s
a lot more fun. And I think, in addition to everything you
say, which is fair and needs to be considered, it was such a difficult environment even to
have that conversation, so who could tell what was or was not realistic? It was kind of all bets were off in the coverage
of the campaign. EK: So Democrats are going to face a question
like this as we speak. So right now in Washington, we’re interviewing
Sanders — another one of my reporters is — who is proposing his single-payer bill
this week. And a lot of Senate Democrats are expected
to sign on to the bill. This bill would be quite sweeping; it would
upend every insurance arrangement, every private insurance arrangement, in America. Do you think that the Democratic party should
sign on, even aspirationally, to a bill that is that radical in its vision? HRC: Well, I don’t know what the particulars
are. As you might remember, during the campaign
he introduced a single-payer bill every year he was in Congress — and when somebody finally
read it, he couldn’t explain it and couldn’t really tell people how much it was gonna cost. So I haven’t seen whatever it is they’re
gonna be introducing and signing on to, so I don’t know. I’m for universal health care coverage that
is high-quality and affordable for every American. And I think there’s a lot of ways of getting
there that I’ve advocated for, to open up Medicare, to open up Medicaid, to do more
on prescription drug costs, to really make sure we get costs down and we do everything
we can to sort of break the stranglehold that a lot of the pharmaceutical companies, which
are unfortunately still driving prices, have on health care costs. And I think it’s going to be challenging
if within that bill, there are tax increases equivalent to what it would take to pay for
single-payer, and if you’re really telling people — about half of the country — that
they can no longer have the policies they have through employer. I’ve been down this road! This is not the first time we’ve tried to
confront this. When I was working on health care back in
in ’93 and ’94, if we could’ve waved the magic wand and started all over, I said
it numerous times, maybe we would start with something resembling single-payer plus other
payers, like other countries that have universal coverage and are much better at controlling
costs than we do, primarily in Europe. But we were facing the reality — talk about
reality — of not just strong, powerful forces but people’s own fears as well as their
appreciation for what they already had. So when the bill is actually introduced, I’ll
read it, I’ll look at it, but if it doesn’t have some kind of grandfathering in, if it
doesn’t have some kind of cost estimate — because look at what happened in Vermont. It wasn’t for lack of trying in Vermont. The Democratic political establishment was
behind single-payer, and they worked for years to achieve it. This is in, you know, a small state, where
it might’ve been possible. They were talking about an increase in the
payroll tax of 9.5 percent, or I think, no, maybe 11.5 percent, they were talking about
a sliding income scale, they went up to 9.5 percent — it just was so difficult to put
pieces together. Now, clearly if you had a national plan, that
would be more likely to avoid state-by-state comparisons, but I think it’s gonna be a
big challenge. Our goal should be universal health care coverage
— universal, affordable, quality health care coverage for everybody, bar none. EK: Let me ask you about the other side, about
Obamacare — which seems, for the moment, to have withstood the attacks on it — but
that was a policy that was really built with an eye toward realism. An eye toward what could pass, but also an
eye toward how could you overlay something on the existing system that wouldn’t disrupt
too many of the existing arrangements. And those pieces of the plan — the exchanges,
the private insurers — have been the most substantively difficult to implement and to
defend, and then also the most politically difficult. It’s left the administration, first Obama
and now Trump, at the mercy of private insurers deciding whether or not to sell, with premium
increases they can’t defend, and what has really ended up being popular in that and
defensible in that is the Medicaid expansion. Is that a place where Democrats overread what
realism required and ended up in a position where what they had wasn’t that inspiring
and wasn’t, in the end, that easy to either implement or sustain? I think you have to unpack what you just asked,
because even embedded in it was your reference to Medicaid. It was really unfortunate that because of
the drafting of the bill, it gave the Supreme Court the opening to eliminate the Medicaid
requirement, the expansion requirement. But what has happened is that Medicaid has
become very popular even in Republican states because it does save money and it is a universal
program below a certain income level, and it takes care of middle-income people when
it comes to nursing homes and disabilities and all the rest. So I think we should be focused politically,
realistically, and aspirationally on expanding, continuing the expansion of Medicaid, and
going to those states that have not yet expanded it. And making the political case every day for
as long as it takes. I was in favor of a Medicare buy-in; if you
start slowly moving the age down, it would make a very big difference. People’s health begins to have more problems
after 55, so let’s get Medicaid down to 60 and then maybe down to 55. I am in favor of a public option, and the
Democrats thought they were going to get a public option and at the very end didn’t
have votes for reasons that I think were inexcusable at the time. But that was just the fact. You know, you gotta pass it. So is that realism or aspiration? Well, at the end of the day it’s votes. And it didn’t pass. So there are pieces that became less popular
partly because of a really well-funded, nonstop campaign against it. But then all of a sudden, with all this talk
about repeal and replace — which was just nonsense; they never had a plan to replace,
it was just a political talking point, and I don’t think Democrats did a good enough
job defending it against those attacks — so when it came time to take something away that
people had gotten used to, everybody said no. And that’s my larger point about what our
goal really is. You’re going to tell 50 percent of America,
“You are no longer to have your employer-based health care, but oh, trust us, it’s going
to be really good when we finally work out all the kinks” — you’re going to have
massive resistance by people, who are gonna say, “I’m happy with what I’ve got.” But if you say, “You know what, we need
to lower age for Medicare, and here’s how we can do that, and we need to continue the
expansion of Medicaid,” we will be at universal coverage. Then once we’re at universal coverage, and
people know what that feels like, then can begin to say, “Okay, here’s what we’re
going to do to make it work better, to get the costs down.” I think that’s — you know, I think that’s
not just realistic, I think it’s thrilling. You know, as somebody who was one of the main
advocates for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, I see the difference it’s made
in people’s lives. And all through the campaign, people would
come up to me and say, “I was on that program,” or, “My family wouldn’t have been able
to afford my sister’s care if it hadn’t been for that” — I find that exhilarating
because that, to me, is what public service is supposed to be about. The Children’s Health Insurance Program
is set to expire at end of this month — what are the forces going to be that will say no,
you’re not going to take this away from 8, 9 million kids, where are they gonna go? So what I think is really motivating about
being in politics in public service is you can actually see the positive changes, whether
it’s civil rights or economics or health care or whatever it might be — and I think
at the end of the day, that’s more important than, you know, how realistic was it or aspirational
was it. EK: So one of the pieces of the book that
really outlined, I think, the disagreement between you and some of the public is right
around here. So we’re talking here about the practice
of politics, what is realistic, what isn’t, but there’s a real feeling among a lot of
folks that the long-term practice of mainstream politics is itself a corrupting exercise. And I think back to 2008, I was at [something]
when you were there for a debate with the other Democratic candidates, and there was
this really interesting exchange about lobbyists. And you defended them as part of the political
system: They have a role to play. The represent people you don’t like but
also people you do like. There’s a version of that in your defense
of the speeches, in which you sort of say, looked bad, shouldn’t have done it, but
you see it as somewhat ridiculous — the idea that Goldman Sachs paying you could have
changed what you think. This to me feels like an actually pretty central
fault line in our politics now, the feeling that a lot of the public has that if you’ve
been in politics a long time, in mainstream politics, that you’ve probably gone a little
bit bad from it. And Barack Obama coming in as an outsider
in 08, Donald Trump as an outsider, Bernie Sanders, who had held back from a lot of the
political system during his career in Washington — that seemed to be a place where there
was a lot of friction. How do you think about politics versus this
anti-politics sentiment? HRC: Look, anti-politics is part of the American
DNA — it goes back to the very beginning. I have no doubt that it’s just built into
America’s skepticism and disdain for the people in politics. So that’s just part of the background of
being in politics. But I think it’s important to again try
to recognize what’s real and what’s not. You know, I can’t help it; I’m like the
Velveteen Rabbit. I believe in reality. I like living in a reality-based world. I don’t like alternative facts, I don’t
like the very concerted, well-funded effort to try to distort news. I don’t like any of that. I think a democracy like ours depends upon
trying to have a vigorous, fact-based debate. So: Nobody on the Republican side cares about
any of these issues, Ezra; you know that. I voted for McCain-Feingold; I said in my
campaign one of the first things I would do is introduce a constitutional amendment to
repeal Citizens United. So I take a back seat to nobody in standing
up for sensible, hard-hitting campaign finance rules. But everybody’s got politics. You know, I go after Bernie really hard on
the NRA — that’s politics for him. And the idea that he’s set off from politics
— he’s been in politics his whole adult life. Donald Trump wasn’t in politics, but he
was somebody who funded people on both sides to in order to curry favors. Until we get to public financing, which I
wholeheartedly endorse, and we have this crazy system where you have to go out and raise
the money — we don’t have a party structure that funds campaigns, we don’t have public
financing — then if Democrats unilaterally disarm and say, “You know, we’re holier
than Caesar’s wife, and we won’t say or do anything that might raise a question”
— there is no compunction on the other side. And there is such an imbalance right now in
our politics, in the amount of money that’s on the other side — the Koch brothers say
they’re gonna spend $400 million in the 2018 campaign — so yeah, I think, you know,
people have to be willing to say, okay, I understand how this might look, it’s not
really how I felt or how I acted, but okay, I understand that, so let’s agree on that. But at the end of day, it is very much an
unbalanced political environment right now between the resources that are behind Republicans
and their campaigns — because it’s not just a straight line between who gave you
money, it’s all the rest of the operation — and what stands behind Democrats. And you know if we don’t care about that,
then fine, but I don’t think that’s gonna come out very well for us. EK: But in terms of demonstrating that kind
of purity, isn’t there a dimension here where Republicans who do not have a very high
opinion of the government do not mind particularly the feeling that the government is corrupt,
that it does not work on their behalf, that it might even work on behalf of special interests
— that that is not actually a threat to their particular version of politics? Whereas for Democrats, who do want people
to trust the government, who do want people to have faith in public institutions, there
is a higher bar. HRC: Yeah, and I think Democrats by and large
try to reach it. I mean, Barack Obama took more money from
Wall Street in 08 than any other Democrat has ever taken, and turned around and imposed
the toughest regulations under Dodd-Frank since the Great Depression. I tell people that all the time — if you
give me money, you will know, because I will tell you publicly and privately what I’m
for. So if you’re in a high income tax bracket,
I wanna tax you. If you still want to give me money, you are
going in with your eyes open. I think it’s theoretically an interesting
conversation, but you look at somebody like President Obama, who inherited this disastrous
economy and, you know, I think did an incredible job pulling it back out of the abyss — took
a lot of money from a lot of different interests, but it didn’t affect how he governed. And so let’s get to the second level here. EK: I do think that’s strong, though, that
it didn’t affect how he governed. HRC: Right. EK: I think a lot of President Obama’s policies
were pretty sound, but also a lot of people feel he could’ve done more to punish bankers,
that he could’ve gone further on health care, there were deals cut before the fact
with the pharmaceutical industry, with the insurance industry. And there are other political realism considerations
in all these questions, but one thing here is that it’s true, I think, directionally
what you’re saying, that a lot of these cut against the interests who funded him. But what a lot of people feel and what I think
there is evidence for is that these kinds of donations, etc., they do give people more
of a voice, they do give these interests more of a voice, and that does affect things certainly
on the margins, certainly in the details. HRC: Well, but, you know, it’s always been
thus. I mean, if you’ve seen the musical Hamilton,
you know, if you’re running a raucous — EK: — I actually haven’t gotten tickets
to that. HRC: — well, we’ll see if we can help
you on that. If you’re running a raucous, pluralistic,
diverse democracy where there are literally millions of different voices, you are going
to hear from all kind of voices. I was a senator for eight years — I bet the
vast majority of people who came through the doors of my Senate office to talk to me, to
advocate, whatever they were doing, were not political donors or certainly not political
donors to me. They were constituents, they were citizens,
they had something to say. So part of what — we’ve shrunk the political
process to such a narrow set of questions, and that’s in the interests of both the
far right and the far left, both of whom want to blow up system and undermine it and all
the rest of the stuff they talk about. I think we operate better when we’re kind
of between center right and center left, because that’s where at least up until recently,
maybe it’s changed now — until recently, that’s where most American were. Look, they didn’t get up every day obsessed
with what the government and politics was going to do — they wanted to know what were
the results and is it going to make a difference to my life. And I thought we had a pretty good balance,
but I again will argue that this has gone on for decades. The right has been on a mission to disrupt
and overturn the political system to the benefit of their commercial, ideological, and partisan
interests. I don’t see how you can argue with that. And it has been pretty effective, all said. Their gerrymandering, their suppression of
votes — they have a clear agenda, and it’s fascinating that Trump wasn’t really particularly
interested in any of this but he was, it turned out to be, a great vehicle for them to promote
these interests. So we’re watching the internal debate within
their party play out. On our side, you know, I just disagree. I was in that Senate for eight years, I know
how hard it is to get to 60 votes. Now, you can say we shouldn’t have to get
to 60 votes, but the fact is whether you’re in the majority of in the minority, and I’ve
been in both, that has been the rule: Get to 60 votes. Because that then demonstrates at least a
broader cross section of representative Americans being in favor of something. So when you talk about bankers, if you look
at the laws we had at the time, maybe more could’ve been done, but I’ve heard very
credible, very tough people say not really because of the burden of proof and the evidence. I’m not defending it; I’m just saying
it’s not for lack of trying that a lot of things were not undertaken. There were barriers to trying that had to
be knocked down and changed. And the same with Dodd-Frank. I mean, if Dodd-Frank had been in effect before
the crash, more could have been done, but it wasn’t. It had to come after. EK: So I want to talk and move us a little
bit to the 2016 election and what happened. HRC: What Happened. EK: The subject of the book. HRC: My book, yes. EK: There’s a premise that is not really
articulated one way or the other in the book, and I wanted to see where you fell on it. Was Donald Trump more or less a normal Republican
candidate who 1) should have expected to begin with 40-42 percent of the vote? And so you’re just explaining how did a
Republican candidate win the election? Or is Donald Trump an abnormal candidate who
you should have expected to begin with 30-35 percent of the vote, and so you have to have
this very large, explanatory lead as to how he came close enough to actually win? What are you explaining? HRC: I think given the hyperpartisanship in
the country right now, once he became the Republican nominee, the odds were very high
that Republicans would come home to him as their nominee. Because regardless of what he said or how
he behaved or what came out about him, he was their path to tax cuts, he was their path
to a Supreme Court seat. There is an agenda on the other side that
really does motivate the right. So at the end of the day, I think something
like 90 percent of Republicans voted for him and 90 percent of Democrats voted for me. That’s unfortunate in lots of ways — I
wish we weren’t in such a hyperpartisan political era — but that’s what I always
expected. I always thought the election would be close. I never was one of those people who said,
oh, my gosh, he’s so unacceptable and this, that. I always thought it would be close. I didn’t expect to be totally ambushed at
the end, which is what I believe, and obviously have written about it, cost me the election
— but I always thought it would be close. It’s not like there was going to be some
wholehearted rejection of Trump by Republicans who frankly thought they could handle him. They thought, you know what, it’ll be an
entertaining four years, and you know, Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell will take care of
everything for us. I mean, that was the thinking that I believe
went into a lot of the Republicans’ — some of whom sort of took a deep breath before
they did it — but they didn’t take him seriously, they didn’t take a potential
presidency seriously. They thought getting a Republican in there,
that’s going to deliver for these things that I care about. EK: But that’s a kind of remarkable view
of politics. It’s actually one that I share, but it’s
still a remarkable one, to imagine that we are now in a time, for reasons related to
polarization and other things we talked about, that anybody — anybody — who wins a party
primary, and parties no longer have control over their primaries — anybody who wins
a party primary begins within spitting distance of winning the presidential election. HRC: I believe that. EK: Does that mean we’re more vulnerable
to demagogues, to authoritarians, to dangerous candidates than we were in the past? HRC: Yes, we are, Ezra. I mean, if I’d lost to what I guess we could
call a normal Republican — one of the other 16 people on the stage during their primary
— EK: Jim Gilmore. HRC: Well, somebody that might have been able
to win. Look, I would have been disappointed, I would
have been upset and heartbroken, but — first of all, I don’t think it would’ve happened,
but secondly, if it had happened, I wouldn’t feel such a sense of anxiety about the country. EK: I’m sorry, can I stop you there? HRC: Yeah. EK: That was interesting, what you just said. Do you think that Donald Trump was a stronger
candidate than the other Republicans? HRC: Yes. EK: You would have beat the others, but you
didn’t beat him? HRC: Well, I don’t want to speculate like
that, but I think the fact he emerged, and the way he emerged, which was so unlike anybody
ever getting a nomination in recent times, demonstrated the strength he had, which was
really rooted in a very cynical assessment of how he could build a Republican majority. He started on the very first day saying terrible
things about Mexican immigrants — you know, that they’re rapists and criminals — and
all of a sudden, people in the Republican side of the electorate began to say, “Oh,
somebody’s speaking to me.” And then he went on from there. And all of his dog whistles and all of his
appeals began to coalesce in the primary, and then once he won the nomination, he had
some additional advantages like Russian help and sophisticated data analytics operation,
weaponizing information, all of that. But his core base — and he was right when
he said, “I could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and my supporters won’t
leave me” — because he was, in a visceral way, feeding into their prejudice and paranoia. EK: So then that’s an argument — because
I want to make sure I try to understand you here — that’s an argument that Donald
Trump was stronger than other Republican candidates because he was willing to play white resentment
politics in a way that others weren’t. Is that a fair reading of what you just said? HRC: I think that’s part of his appeal,
yes. And he was willing to play, let’s not forget,
Islamophobic politics, homophobic politics, sexist politics — I mean, hit hit every
single area of resentment and grievance that people were feeling. And his racism, which was endemic to his campaign,
wasn’t subtle at all. And there’s now been so much analysis done
since the election demonstrating clearly that so-called cultural/racial anxiety and prejudice
was the primary driver for a lot of his support. EK: But one way of reading the election results
is that Donald Trump, through these appeals, was able to get white voters to act as an
interest group, to coalesce them in a way they had not recently been coalesced, to motivate
them, particularly downscale whites, in a way they had not recently been motivated. That didn’t happen as much with women voters. You talked about watching the Women’s Marches
after the election — where was this solidarity during the campaign? Where was this outrage during the campaign? Why do you think that politics worked for
Trump but you didn’t see a corresponding surge, particularly among female voters? HRC: Well, let’s start with this fact, though:
I did carry the women’s vote. EK: You did carry the women’s vote. HRC: Right. I lost the white women’s vote, but I actually
got more white women votes than Barack Obama got. So this was part of a trend. EK; In 2008? HRC: I can’t remember if it was ’08 or
’12. Yeah. And so white voters have been fleeing the
Democratic Party ever since Lyndon Johnson predicted they would. There is no surprise to that. Of course I hoped I could get more than a
traditional Democratic nominee did because I was the first woman with the chance to be
president — but gender is not the motivating factor that race was for President Obama. And so many women — and let’s talk about
white women, because that’s the group of women that I lost — are really quite politically
dependent on their view of their own security and their own position in society, what works
and doesn’t work for them. So as I say in the book, I had this really
revealing conversation with Sheryl Sandberg before the campaign. And she’s immersed herself in every bit
of research about how do women think and what do they expect. And she said look — and we’re talking
predominantly about white women — okay, she said the research is really clear: The
more professionally successful a man becomes, the more likable he becomes. The more professionally successful a woman
becomes, the less likable she becomes. When a woman is advocating on behalf of others,
or working for someone and working hard for that person, the way I did as secretary of
state when I was so popular in the public opinion polls, that is favorably received
by people. But when a woman advocates for herself — so
if I go and say to Vox, I think Ezra deserves a raise, people say, Boy is she a good person. I mean, she’s out there advocating for Ezra. If I go and I say, you know, I think I’m
working really hard and I think I deserve a raise, it’s like wow, what got into her? What’s the deal? So Sheryl ended describing all this to me
by saying remember, they will have no empathy for you. Now, I believe absent Comey, I might’ve
picked up 1 or 2 points among white women. I’ll give you the example I used in the
book. Before the Comey letter on October 28, I was
26 points ahead in the Philadelphia suburbs. That could’ve only happened if I had a big
vote from women, Republican women, independent women. A week later, 11 days later, I win the Philadelphia
suburbs by 13 points. I needed to win by 18 points to be able to
counterbalance the rest of the state. That wasn’t just me; that’s how Democrats
win Pennsylvania in presidential campaigns. It stopped my momentum, and it hurt me, particularly
among women. And I have so much anecdotal evidence for
this, and now researchers are starting to pull some of this together. You know, all of a sudden the husband turns
to the wife: I told you, she’s going to be in jail, you don’t wanna waste your vote. You know, the boyfriend turns to the girlfriend
and says, She’s going to get locked up! Don’t you hear? She’s going to get locked up. All of a sudden it becomes a very fraught
kind of conflictual experience. And so instead of saying I’m taking a chance,
I’m going to vote, it didn’t work. So I think that there is a lot of work still
to be done to try to appeal to as broad an electorate as possible, but not by sacrificing
the constituents we have who have stuck with us who are part of a majority if they aren’t
suppressed and if they can be motivated to turn out. And I hope that happens in 2018. EK: The premise of a lot of these conversations
— you would imagine what we’re talking about is persuasion. You imagine we’re talking about how do a
candidate, you in this case, get the most votes? But in this case, you did. And one broader question that you don’t
really take on in the book, but since the turn of the millennium, 40 percent of the
presidential elections have seen the popular vote won by Democrats and seen the result
overturned in the Electoral College. HRC: That’s right. Which is just crazy in these days. EK: Do Democrats have a democracy problem? HRC: No, we have an Electoral College problem. EK: Should there be an Electoral College? HRC: As far back as 2000, I’ve said no. I think it’s an anachronism. I won in counties that produce two-thirds
of the economic output in the United States; I won in places that were more on the optimistic
side of the scale than the pessimistic side. I won in places that understood and appreciated
diversity. I won in places where African-American and
younger voters were not suppressed, as they successfully were in, for example, Wisconsin
and other locations that I didn’t win. So I think you have to take this and pick
it apart. If you come with just one answer, it’s not
going to give you what you need to go forward. But at the end of day, if you look at what
where we are right now, if we don’t convince — and when I say “we,” it’s the great
big Democratic we, not me — but if we don’t convince people to register to vote and vote,
the simplest exercise of your citizenship in our country, in the 2018 election, then
I really do think we’re going to see the clear and present danger to our democracy
that I’ve been talking about come to fruition. We will see a constitutional convention. Now, whether it ever finally gets ratified,
I’m not sure, but so it will be so divisive and it will rile up so much of our population,
we will see the continuing efforts on the right to disenfranchise people, to roll back
regulations that are good for our health and our environment and so much else, we will
not recognize America. So part of the reason I wrote this book was
not just to say okay, there’s a lot of theories floating around, here’s what I think happened,
and I’ve got evidence behind what I say, and I hope you’ll pay attention because
if we don’t, what happened to me will continue to happen, and I don’t want to see that
in America. EK: But one question about that is actually
where the geography of that is going. You talked about winning more of the economic
output, probably more than any Democrat has before — HRC: Yeah, probably. EK: But part of that is that Democrats are
clustering in urban centers, they’re clustering in big states, and the American political
system is not built to advantage that; it’s built to disadvantage that. It seems to me that the Democratic Party could
be in a position where it’s winning a lot of moral victories. HRC: No, I’m not interested in that alone. I mean, obviously if we don’t win elections,
we don’t win. But there are pieces of this you can address,
Ezra. Let’s start with voter suppression, which
is one of the five reasons why I believe I lost. Compare Wisconsin to Illinois or Wisconsin
to Minnesota — Wisconsin has had a concerted voter suppression campaign going on under
Scott Walker and the Republicans. The AP says maybe 200,000 people were turned
away. Illinois has had none of that. In fact, they’ve made it easier to vote. Minnesota is an easier-to-vote state. I won both of those. You’ve had voter suppression in Michigan. You’ve had voter suppression in Pennsylvania. Now, that is not about me. That is about what’s right and decent and
constitutional. And I was shocked when the Supreme Court threw
out the guts of the Voting Rights Act. I was in the Senate, I voted for it, we voted
98 to nothing, George W. Bush signed it, and along comes the Republican majority on the
Supreme Court and they throw it out, and Republican governors and legislators could not have been
more gleeful. Now, that is not a big-ticket item. That is hard work. We need to elect legislators, we need to elect
secretaries of state, we need to bring court cases, because if we don’t deal with this
voter suppression, yeah, the electorate will continue to shrink. And it won’t just be the Electoral College;
it will be within these states. A shrinkage of the legitimacy of our constitutional
democracy. So I care passionately about this because
this will determine what kind of country we have for my grandchildren. And so I’m going to be out there day in
and day out trying to do what I can to support efforts to give back voting to people, whoever
they are, across our country, so that their voices can be heard and we have a democracy
that really functions right. EK: Hillary Clinton, thank you very much. HRC: Thank you.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Hey Hillary, he's saying you can't inspire anyone. Your extra votes weren't FOR you, they were AGAINST Trump, and millions of illegal votes.

  2. This is full of lies, of course. Hillary never considered running on UBI. She's saying it now in case she decides to run in 2020 because she knows she'll need to be more liberal to get the nomination.

  3. I wanted Hillary to win but God help us if she is renominated by the DNC in 2020. We need an outsider Democrat who is also a politician. Like Beto O'Rourke maybe.

  4. She was all out to bring in millions of Syrians and give them all the Detroit empty buildings traitor women wicked witch of the west the Clintons are wicked American traitors

  5. Hillary could not even protect one little embassy compound as secretary of state, how the hell could she protect an entire country.

  6. the left radicals pretending to be right radicals are trying to change the constitution. I say go back to before the federal reserve act. reinstate that constitution, then burn the federal reserve and irs to the ground.

  7. forced medical, mandated income will equal forced vaccines and gun confiscation. reeducation camps will be in every major city. no more competition, no more creativity. lazy ignorant drone humans will be the majority. its almost there.

  8. I don't really get modern day identity politics. She does wonderful in pre scripted interviews from people who adore her. In actuality she has corrupted every office, charity or organization she's been involved with. She was a corrupt senator and the worst Secretary of State in history. She even corrupted her presidential campaign by using Debbie Wasserman Scholtz to cheat the DNC and Anderson Cooper and Donna Brazil to cheat the debates. I actually think the MSM and big money wanted Donald Trump to run against her. She got taken out by an unknown black senator the first time she ran and she certainly didn't beat Bernie Sanders without cheating. Anyone else on the Republican side would have buried her in millions of dollars in negative campaign adds and with over 30yrs of material. She hasn't got one single positive attribute. The Clinton's have been just basically one big pay for play corporation since they entered the political arena. Interviews like this one and the ones on CNN and MSNBC all are very scripted and planned. You will never see her on FOX news ever.

  9. This woman is such an incompetent. It is comical that she ran as 'the most qualified."

    2016 was historic in presenting two of the worst candidates for the presidency ever in this nation. God, she's such a fraud — she deserved Donald Trump as her opponent (she did the Pied Piper strategy — boosting his candidacy because she knew she'd lose to any other Republican. Wow — yet she couldn't even beat a game show host).

  10. Lies…. stop 🛑 trying to tax people for being human…it’s sick like you… go home 🏠 and be a granny it’s time to retire before it’s too late ….nobody is going to be here forever… you win some you loose some QUIT COMPLAINING IT’S TIRING AND OUT DATED!

  11. Entitled old hag says the "press didnt do their (sic) job." So, the stupid voter, the press,
    Obama, the DNC and middle class are all to blame for her loss?????? Hillary, if you dare, look in the mirror. J' cusse! This just in! Queen Hillary blames voter suppression as well!!!!!!

  12. At 40:10 she scores Trump on racism and immigration. She was for a "barrier"! Her hubby ratcheted up deportations and started the hyper deportations that Obama continued and increased. Shame, Democrats! Always with irony. Yeah, bring up the woman card! You are entitled, yes.

  13. Brilliant. Watching HRC effortlessly maneuver through a range of policy-oriented questions with sufficient facts & ideas is so refreshing. Always in awe of how genuinely intelligent she is.

  14. Why didn't they do this interview during the 2016 election? This is one of the best explanations and discussions I have seen. She is matter of frank and doesn't seem fake here.

  15. people don't want to vote for a professional tap dancing robot…sorry. came here to try to learn about the depth of hillary's ideas and…(sigh)

  16. Raw jailhouse interview with Sonia Quiles lets visit James rose on chanell 4 and bill Clinton too see her ask the ambassador I need some marquez money. In mbtz 700.000000 times. B-real call cesar lozano from 2711 western park rd. he joined the millitia in grand Prarie Texas . and there's another cesar in all red missing in action.

  17. Will daddy Collin Powell koala pow be having his nominee chair too run for office as Jose guadalupe De Los Santos my brother for president. They have papers.

  18. What chair holds Darryle stations and mayor in Dallas. Too change the chairs around and news chair. And radio network office council. National USA Mexico and mexco and north America south America. Witch ever is right.

  19. Miss Hillary will you call sunset high school and show them Sonia Quiles and Julian De Los Santos. Because what I notified Julian to do if petri as Patricia what to do if she's with a black person. Ill pay the trouble one day on culture law bill of rights amendments and scripture it like in Washington state and new York state.

  20. Unite to have thoughts, thoughts, actions to help, support each other. Generate fair competition. Toward meaningful things and "protect" the right things. To work towards the "common goals" of all humanity and everyone.

  21. Probably one of the most evil politicians in American history. Racist (Coloured time), sexist (defending her Rapist husband and a pedophile who raped a 12 year old) and just a sick rich politician (giving a speech on inequality in a $12 000 Armani outfit).

  22. So I guess I'll go ahead and leave my opinion also I really don't appreciate the fact that she fillets toddlers faces off wears them drinks their adrenochrome Harvest is their pineal glands chance around underneath the moon with her voodoo doll and whatever weird s*** they get down with most likely drinking breast milk and eating sperm and s*** these are your Idols your leaders your sportscasters your actresses in your rap moguls did you worship like gods you people make me sick you're going to find out Lucifer is not the winner soon enough

  23. This male presstitute uses his voice so well as he sucks up to Killary…. ooh. The amount of spittle being lapped up here is impressive indeed. 🤣

  24. KILL THIS SATANIST ! She could care less about the American People, and plans on Turning America into a Communist and One Color Nation ! Your held to a Lower Class of Americans !

  25. When I see a video about hildabeadt, I press on it, not to listen to her tired excuses, but to scroll down and sat what a mess she is. Of course I stick to the truth. God knows, the broad has messed up so much, there's no need to lie about her. The truth provides more than enough material.

  26. I'll never understand the vitriol prompted by videos like this. Democracy is simple. 1) Take two candidates, 2) listen to what they have to say, 3) decide who you would like to vote for 4) respect the outcome. You had your say on Election Day, why continue to attack?

  27. After watching this, not only does she not say anything but say it over and over again, also wow she totally delusional!

  28. "The Clinton Chronicles," a documentary available for free on YouTube (type the name in the search box above), says it all. You'll learn about the Bill and Hillary Clinton cocaine cartel, the witnesses they murdered, and more.

  29. "Obstruction of Justice- The Clinton Machine," is a documentary on YouTube (also for free- you can type the name in the search box above). It's about the August 23, 1987 murders of 17-year-old Kevin Ives and 16-year-old Don Henry, as committed by THE CLINTON CRIME FAMILY.

  30. Here's just a partial list of the victims of the Clintons: Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Leslie Millwee, Kathy Shelton, Katheleen Willey, Kevin Ives, Don Henry, Boonie Bearden, Danney Williams, and many, many more.

  31. She planned all of this 26 years ago that she would be the president after Barack Obama and it didn't work, thank God. If you want another Network other than MSNBC CNN go to one America News Network you might be pleasantly surprised they seem to be telling the truth.

  32. BAHAHAHA additional advantages….. how about how GOOGLE was just exposed for being determine to never let another trump situation happen again. I think russia was just a "fall guy" for the failure of a person hillary is. Google donated 1.13 million to hillary's campain and 0 to POTUS. The media is owned by like 5 people total and they dont want to be exposed for the corrupt, pedohile, satanists that they are. They want open borders so they can continue to kidnap, toture, and kill the children. The media is nothing but a distraction and a tool to divide the people. Clintons have had so many people killed so they wouldnt talk or if they attempted to talk. SHE SHOULD BE IN PRISON

  33. If you call 0 operator miss Hillary and ask about 1995 1996 murder someone did on Sharon Gonzalez Saucedo and bill Clinton and my son the computers in my ears the blacks did and where the computers where at do you know if Sonia quiles could have that investigated too seek for some blacks future attacks in prison that will lead to ???

  34. The fbi and homeland didn’t do there job either, but finally justice will get served , Hillary you are BUSTED

  35. Obama did a good job put 7 trillion dollars to the deficit .this woman is the DIRTIEST GOVERMENT OFFFICSL WE WILL EVER HAD

  36. She and her husband are like a machine. They never thought of reversing our agreements in China. They signed an agreement with Mexico. Democrats lost a 50 year lock on the house. But sure she prays.

  37. This maniac couldn't be MORE COMPLETELY OFF- BASE than she is now.
    I've really listened to her talking points here and I debunked every single one of them. "At the end of the day " think she could say that…1 more time ?

  38. The main issue with Hillary is that she has been around too long, and she failed to address many things. "What have you being doing all this time?" – the voters asked. "Why are you bringing this now?"

  39. I wonder how many democrats knew this about her support of UBI. I wonder how many democrats knew Obama was supportive and proposing UBI too.

  40. watching this 2 years later. and thinking what would it have been like if we would have had her as the pres of usa. one thing i know for sure. it would have been much better. sigh

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