Hardball | February 01, 2013
>>> i knew there was something really special about this place and that having the honor to lead the state department and usaid would be unique and singular, exciting, and challenging. it has been all of those things and so much more.
>> welcome back to "hardball." that was, of course, secretary of state hillary clinton saying good-bye today to the men and women of the state department . now, let the campaign begin. she may not want -- may want some r and r for the short run but already the world of democratic operatives and donors is itching for the big drive in 2016 . take a look at the tablet version of "newsweek" this week. there it is, it's most powerful women in history. i think there's an overstatement. nobody wants to be late to this party. wouldn't cleopatra have been pretty power pfl. with me is ed rend yelle and pulitzer prize winning cynthia tucker . why would you put hillary with cleopatra .
>> cleopatra immediately came to mind for me, too, and i think hillary clinton probably still has some history in front of her to make before she can be declared the most powerful woman in history.
>> i think cleopatra is a little ahead of her.
>> we've settled that. ed markey -- i'm thinking of ed markey because i'm endorsing him tonight for the senate because scott brown isn't running. let me ask you governor rendell. let me try to bother you a little bit. back in 1979 you were convinced ted kennedy could not be beat for president of the united states . you were out there with billy green . i'm trying to hold onto my speech writing job in the white house , you're trying to take it away from me. sometimes change. is it conceivable in your hillary heart that times could change over the next three years and she would not be hot to trot to run, that there may not be this ground swell of support for her. doug mccar they are i'm told by the people who live back there in '51 and remembered it, that he was unbeatable in '51 for president when he was fired by truman. the republicans would have ran him and won with him. a year later he was nothing, ike took it away. is it true hillary has the staying power so that four years from now she could be president?
>> yeah, i think she does. ted kennedy , remember, was a fairly young senator and hadn't really proven himself. douglas mccarthy was a general and no one knew how he would react to public service . hillary clinton has been on the scene for 20 years, two decades, and has been a fairly dominant player already in american politics for those 20 years. chris , it is unbelievable, i can't walk a block in philadelphia without being stopped by someone thrusting a card in my hand saying when hillary runs, i want to give money. i have never seen anything like it in my political experience of 34 years ever. not anywhere close. not even the obama phenomenon matches the enthusiasm level that's here. could something change in three years? of course. three years a long time. but, remember, it's not really three years. if she wants to make a decision, she has to make a decision by next spring, spring of '14. if she make that is decision, she by and large preempts the democratic field.
>> what do you tell joe biden that he should do between now and then to prepare to run if she doesn't run but prepare to hit the parachute if she does run? how does he prepare both?
>> well, he does everything he's been doing. he goes at it like he's going to be a candidate because i think there's still a decent chance that hillary will decide not to run. i wouldn't bet on it but i think there's a decent chance and then joe becomes the front-runner. joe should continue to make contact, talk to givers. the problem for joe is, and people do love and respect joe , and i'm in that category, but the givers, the people who will decide who really is the most powerful candidate, they're all -- they all like joe but they're all for hillary right now. that's his biggest problem.
>> and that's men and women both, right?
>> men and women both.
>> let me go to cynthia. let's look at this poll, most admired woman of 2012 . let's look at this number here. hillary clinton , it's not even close anymore the most admired woman category here. 21% for her. the first lady at 5%, which is okay, i guess but not great here. and oprah winfrey , who is like the most powerful woman in the history of the media you might say, televised media, and look at her down there at 4%. it's stun being the domination, if you will, of this one public figure.
>> i think that's well-deserved, chris . i really do. i think she has not only done a phenomenal job as secretary of state, but she also -- she ran an excellent campaign in the primaries and when she lost, she threw her support behind barack obama and worked very hard for him and, of course, she worked -- she was his loyal secretary of state. and i think that goes a long way with many people. their campaign was pretty bitter. their rivalry was pretty bitter, and i remember all of the questions in 2008 . will hillary really join forces with barack obama ? not only did she join forces, she worked hard for him, and she was his very loyal secretary of state. and i think for people all over the world, that goes a long way in building up their admiration for her. this was a woman who lost the campaign but when she was called on, she gave it her all.
>> let me ask you, governor, you're as good a po l as i know, my question is what did she learn? somebody said just recently the secretary herself said the lessons she learned looking back was she had to be a better communicator. well, that covers a lot of territory. i think what hurt her most was her vote at least for the iraq war . in the democratic confines within the caucus voters, the real zealous people in the party, that war was the issue, the opposition to it and the fact that she had voted for it i think really gave an issue to barack obama who as a state senator was out there in chicago in probably a liberal district and he voted against the war without worry being it. she hedged her bets and voted for the war and i think that was her biggest impediment to the winning. i don't think she has that kind of impediment this time around.
>> no, and she learned how to communicate with working class folks. if you remember, chris , four or five years ago, hillary clinton 's biggest problem was working class women , blue collar women . yet by the end of that campaign, she was racking up huge majorities in west virginia and kentucky and pennsylvania and places like that, and she attracted those working class women . she was like a rock star in the parades we went to in scranton and pittsburgh and places like that. so she learned to communicate as a populist, as a real populist. that will hold her in good stead. i think she learned to save some money for contingencies. remember, if they had any money after super tuesday, i think they would have been the nominee but they spent all their money and it was down the chute and she got bad advice.
>> bad advice. if you run it next time, it will be better. i got some of those working class women . i know what that look looks like. you're against hillary . if you were against hillary , you were in big trouble no matter what your motive, you were in big trouble . cynthia, you can't wait, can you?
>> you know, i think that by 2014 the prospect of becoming the very first female president of the united states will be too powerful for hillary clinton to say no. she's also at person who could hold together what has become known as the obama coalition. i think her biggest trouble, quite frankly, would be taking all of that for granted, the sense of entitlement which i also think hurt her some in 2008 . she has to run as if her life depends on it and not act as if she's taking it for granted.
>> after a brief rest, i'm sure she could. thank you, cynthia tucker and my good friend governor ed rendell . thank you for coming. happy friday.
>>> up next the "sideshow," and this is "hardball," the place