The Last Word | December 12, 2012
>>> what most people are asking now about you is, will you consider running for president in 2016 ? would you just like to make your declaration now and we could conclude this interview.
>> that would be fascinating to me as well as everyone else. i've said i really don't believe that that's something i will do again. i am so grateful i had the experience of doing it before. but, you know, i think there are lots of ways to serve. so i will continue to serve.
>> what would it take to convince you to run in 2016 ?
>> that's all hypothetical. right now, i have no intention of running.
>> that, of course, was hillary clinton speak of, yes, i am running for president unless some unforeseen circumstance prevents me. hillary was not the only presidential possibility. she also interviewed new jersey governor, chris christie .
>> there are people who say you couldn't be president because you are so heavy. what do you say to them?
>> that's ridiculous. that's ridiculous. i don't know what the basis of that is.
>> i think they have worried about your health.
>> i have done this job pretty well. people have watched me in hurricane sandy doing 18 hours days and getting right back up and being as effective in the job. so i don't really think that would be a problem.
>> nate silver , the man that correctly predicted the outcome of this year's presidential election said this about hillary clinton . she seems like democrats best bet perhaps by some extent to extend their winning streak to three or more terms in the white house .
>> steve smith joining me now and jonathan capehart . steve , i want to you go to chris christie first. that question barbara walters asked him seems to me to be a hurdle he would have to get over in any national campaign. i think barbara is asking what is in the very first set of questions that voters would have on their minds.
>> there is no question that its an issue. there is no question it is a legitimate issue. the help of presidential candidates is always a part of a presidential race . it is as physically grueling an experience as you can possibly have. he has done a tremendous job during this crisis in new jersey. it is not analogous to running for president nationally over the course of four years. i think if he is going to be a serious presidential candidate , this is an issue that he is going to have to deal with. i say that as someone who admires him very, very much and hopes very badly that he will run for president as a republican. i think who could help remake the party.
>> steve , i do think he handled that reasonably well in response to barbara's question.
>> there is no question that he handled it well but his answer that, look, it's not going an issue, i think it's a ridiculous issue. politically, i think he is wrong on that. if he does want to be president, every presidential candidate goes in with assets and liabilities. one of these things you want to do in the time where the race is four years out is to start to remove some of those liabilities from your sheet. that's one of the liabilities i this i that he would have to work on.
>> jonathan capehart , no one is talking about hillary clinton liabilities at this point, whatever liabilities she had in the past as a presidential candidate have disappeared. we have newt gingrich saying she is, as far as he can tell at this stage, unbeatable. i did not hear anything close to a denial in what she said to barbara walters tonight about her presidential future.
>> lawrence, i heard a person who is desperately waiting for her successor to be nominated by the president, for that person to take over from her and for her to disappear for however many months she needs to rest up from 20 years under the intense microscope that is being the first lady, then the senator, and then a presidential candidate , then the secretary of state. what i heard in there was, i'm not thinking about running for president. maybe later, talk to me about it. maybe i'll do it. you know what, quite frankly, lawrence, i don't think -- i wouldn't be surprised if she didn't run. i know you are convinced she is running. i'm not convinced.
>> i will be shocked if she doesn't run. steve schmitt, have we had any parallel like this? have we had anyone in either party who four years away from it is such an obvious and formidable front-runner, nonincumbent front-runner like this?
>> not that i thick of. one of the remarkable things, when you look at her polling numbers is the degree to which she has transcended her controversies over her career. she has become an ecumenical figure in politics. she is admired by an awful lot of republicans and republican women. she has an awful lot of time to make her decision. she freezes the democratic primary process in place. everybody will have to wait to see what she wants to do. she is not going to be compelled to get in this early and have a three-year campaign or a two-year campaign. she has all the time to rest and recover from the job she has had and to think this over.
>> jonathan capehart , all of those microscopes and spotlights she has been under for 20 years and beyond, certainly in arkansas for many years before that, were all of her choosing, every one of these pressure jobs and positions she has been in has been of her choosing. this is not someone who is weighed down by the weight of the spotlight. she knows how to bear it and she knows what she has to do to win a presidential campaign and there is no reward for starting too late.
>> that's true. she knows what the pressures are. she has been through a presidential campaign before. if she runs again, she knows what pitfalls are. she knows what mistakes she made in '08 and could learn from them in 2016 . there is no doubt about it she is the front-runner if she chooses to jump into the race. but i always caution people that the sky-high approval numbers that she has now are the result of the fact that while she has been secretary of state, she has been removed from the day to day national politics of other people who might have to get into the race. anyone who jumps into the race, whether their approval rating is at 70%, 65%, 60%, the moment they jump into the race, those numbers come down. this he have to get into the ring and invariably, no matter who the candidate is, he or she is going to say something to piss somebody off and lose support.
>> jonathan capehart and steve smith , thanks for joining me tonight.
>>> coming up, the republican party 's history on taxes and what republicans need to learn from abraham lincoln about taxes. that's in the rewrite. as you've probably noticed, tony award -winning actor, alan coup alan cumming , star of the good life is here to talk about whatever