For a politician, there is little more potentially dangerous than a “hot mic” or a microphone that the politician isn’t aware is on. During an interview with NBC’s Chris Matthews, Hillary Clinton was caught by a hot mic. This time, though, it probably won’t hurt her presidential chances.
Clinton was being interviewed in Springfield, Illinois’ Old State Capitol building as MSNBC was taping a town hall. They were between segments and a commercial was running, but the mic was never turned off. Naturally, reporters scrambled to get whatever they can from the candid exchange. The subject, not surprisingly, was Donald Trump.
“Man, you guys cannot talk stop talking about him,” Clinton was saying. “He is a dangerous presence and, you know, it’s just like candy by the bushel.”
“We dip into him, dip out of him,” said Matthews. “We have a progressive audience, obviously. But, uh, nobody can tell what people want to watch.”
“Yeah,” she said, adding that people do “want to watch him.”
“— to laugh at him,” Matthews replied.
The conversation turned to one Trump supporter, Chris Christie. Clinton seemed baffled that he would support Trump. Matthews, always ready with a political theory, said that he did it to have a future and that with Cory Booker and Bob Menendez in the Senate, he has no other chance at the next step in his career.
Overall, despite the hot mic, Clinton was quite civil. The worst thing she said about Ben Carson, for example, after calling him a “brilliant surgeon,” was her agreement that he sounds like Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers.
Here’s the audio:
If we learned anything from this audio, it’s that Clinton is a pro, for whatever that’s worth. It’s hardly controversial to call Trump a dangerous presence and the media (including us) deserves all the criticism toward the Trump obsession. It’s definitely not controversial to discuss Chris Christie’s ambitions or Ben Carson’s surgical skills. No, after nearly a quarter of a century in the national spotlight, Clinton is not bound to get caught by a hot mic.