But the lamest part of these Sunday sessions came when all three wasted their precious hard-question time by asking the Fabulous Former First Lady if she would throw her combat helmet into the ring for the White House next year. CBS's John Roberts should win a prize for keeping the suck-ups short and perfunctory. ABC's George Stephanopoulos looked like he was still trying to gain new acceptance from the old boss, and NBC's Tim Russert turned his show into a five-minute, Hillary-you're-so-popular gigglefest. They clearly know that buffing this Democratic "superstar" image only builds her clout on Capitol Hill and across the country, and they delivered.
And these people are wondering if Chris Wallace can ask tough questions on Fox?
None of these fawners has so much as dipped a toe into political reality. Yes, Hillary beats the stuffing out of the Democrats currently in the race -- but only among Democrats . When the polls turn to the general public, she's incredibly weak and very divisive. Why don't they point that out?
Well-informed political junkies like these Sunday morning hosts know that in June, ABC News posted a poll that found that only four in 10 Americans said Hillary should "ever" run for president, while a majority, 53 percent, said she should "never" run. The numbers could be viewed through an even darker glass. There was no substantive difference between men and women in their distaste for Hillary, and 56 percent of whites, 60 percent of older Americans, and 76 percent of Republicans told ABC "never" to a President Hillary campaign.
But no one cited those numbers between Hillary giggles. In fact, on Monday morning, Stephanopoulos reprised the Hillary-as-rock-star stanza for ABC's "Good Morning America." Co-host Charles Gibson observed the obvious: "It seems like a lot of us can't take no for an answer." George then added that it's "fairly realistic" that Hillary will be pressed into service as the vice-presidential nominee, and "it'll be very tough for her to say no at that point." The closest ABC came to its own poll was suggesting she was a "polarizing figure."
Twelve years after her national debut, with reporters polishing her pumps as Loyal Spouse and Mother in addition to her reputation as a Policy Genius, the networks are still treating her like an American queen, a madame-president-in-waiting, a "secular saint" in a black pantsuit. But all these years of unpaid advertising still leave a majority of Americans cold. Their soft soap isn't washing Hillary clean.