Hillary Clinton came on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart on Tuesday night to discuss her new memoir “Hard Choices,” but the comedian quickly did away with the pretext for her appearance. “I think I speak for everybody when I say no one cares [about the book],” he joked. “They just want to know if you’re running for president.”
The former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential candidate jabbed back that she was going to make the announcement on the show, “but you kind of spoiled it for me. So I’m going to have to reconsider where I go.”
Stewart had introduced Clinton by joking that “she’s here solely for one reason: to publicly and definitely declare her candidacy for President of the United States.”
Not surprisingly, Clinton didn’t spill any secrets. But she acknowledged the speculation, calling the media frenzy surrounding the next presidential election “a cottage industry.”
The former first lady has previously said she would make her intentions known by the end of the year. Clinton is currently on a book tour for her memoir, which hit bookshelves in June. The cross-country tour is being seen as part of a months-long rollout leading up to a decision on whether she’ll make a bid for the Oval Office.
The interview did take a serious turn when Clinton and Stewart discussed the recent escalation of violence in the Middle East and her seemingly tone-deaf comments about her personal wealth.
Clinton said the U.S. is “in a terrible dilemma” regarding attacks between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. On the unsuccessful cease-fire, which Israel accepted but Hamas did not, Clinton agreed with Stewart that “the world must do more for the people who are trapped by this conflict.”
And on her missteps while speaking about her personal wealth –- including recently saying she was “dead broke” after she and Bill Clinton left the White House, the former first lady again acknowledged the remarks were “inartful” and that she was grateful for the opportunities she has been given.
Clinton said that she worries other Americans are “not going to have the same opportunities we did. […] We believed we could pretty much make our way up the ladder. And now, I think a lot of particularly young people don’t believe that anymore and that bothers me.”
Stewart seized the moment to push Clinton again on her presidential ambitions, declaring that he was confident she would run because of how easily she pivoted from her gaffes to income inequality in America. At another point, the Comedy Central host insisted that he thought Clinton would run for the nation’s highest office because, if she would just say she wasn’t running, the groundswell of criticism she has endured would stop immediately.
“A lot of people would lose their jobs,” she joked. “I’ve been amazed at what a cottage industry it is. I kind of expect it would continue. I’m not really paying attention.”
Polls continually show Clinton as the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination. According to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polling data from March 6 through June 30, the majority of Democrats – 65% – want Clinton to be the nominee. Vice President Joe Biden came in second with 11.7%, followed by Warren with 7%.
Clinton has appeared on “The Daily Show” twice before, once in 2008 and another time in 2010.