Updated with video: Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton made her first visit to what she called “The Cathedral of Colbert” tonight. “She hasn’t named her running mate yet,” Stephen Colbert said at the top of The Late Show. “Maybe it’s because she wanted to wait and ask him on his talk show.”
Clinton is the fifth White House hopeful to appear on Colbert’s show since he debuted on CBS – but the first to whom he has said that, in his previous late-night show he’d played a conservative gasbag “who didn’t care for you.”
“It was mutual,” Clinton laughed.
When she began to campaign-speak about putting the middle class back at the center of our politics, and noted that her husband had created 23 million jobs during his eight years in office, Colbert wondered if another Clinton in the White House would mean a return to the ’90s, and parachute pants.
“I’m not running for my husband’s third term,” Clinton said. “I’m not running for President Obama’s third term. I’m running for my first term. But I’m going to do what works, and we have an understanding of what works.” She added: “The wealthy need to pay more. I’m just sorry to break it to you.'”
As president, she told Colbert she will let big banks fail if they get into trouble. More accurately, when he asked, “If you are president and the banks are failing, do we let them fail?” Clinton answered, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”
“First of all, under Dodd-Frank, that is what will happen, because we now have stress tests and I’m going to impose a risk fee on the big banks if they engage in risky behavior,” she elaborated. “But they have to know, their shareholders have to know, that yes, they will fail. And, if they’re too big to fail then, under my plan and others that have been proposed, they may have to be broken up.
Colbert is the latest stop on the Dem presidential hopeful’s charm offensive. Colbert himself had been prepping for this moment since his first week as host of The Late Show in September, when he detailed Clinton’s carefully formulated plan to become more spontaneous and genuine coinciding with the start of her march through the late-night TV landscape. The Clinton Authenticity Campaign started in September, when the notoriously guarded politician stuck her toe into the late-night arena, playing Telephone with Pretend Donald Trump (aka Jimmy Fallon) on NBC’s The Tonight Show. This month she appeared on same network’s Saturday Night Live playing Val the bartender, who sang a duet with a power-hungry Hillary Clinton, played by SNL regular Kate McKinnon.
Actual Clinton took a short break from late-night to give a crowd-pleasing performance at CNN’s Dem Debate, which drew a whopping 16 million viewers. Clinton also is considered by most to have won last week’s 11-hour Benghazi hearing, for which she reportedly was showered with campaign contributions.
This week’s late-night stop on Late Show comes just after Clinton celebrated her 68th birthday, by sleeping late [see video below].
“Did you do anything special, like have a celebration for 11 hours?” Colbert joked.
“I got to do as little as I could get away with,” Clinton said, including a visit with her granddaughter and a lot of “watch[ing] bad TV” with husband Bill. Clinton said they “finally finished” watching Netflix’s House Of Cards and that other shows on her playlist include CBS’ The Good Wife and Madam Secretary, which stars Tea Leoni as a Clinton-esque Secretary of State.
Clinton noted former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently made a guest appearance on that drama.
“Are you jealous?” Colbert wondered.
“A little,” Clinton confided.
She declined, when asked, to say if she’d rather run against Donald Trump or Ben Carson, the two political “outsiders” currently leading the Republican field. “I’m gonna leave that to the Republicans,” she said.
“But you can picture either of those guys in the office, right?” Colbert persisted.
“Well, I can picture them in some office,” she responded coyly.
Completing her march through late-night, Clinton will appear on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on November 5. It will be Clinton’s first appearance on Kimmel’s show since announcing her latest bid for the White House.