MSNBC host Rachel Maddow interrupted her interview with former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to show a baby panda sneezing, offering it as illustrative of how the “The Panda Principle” applies to the former secretary of state.
“Welcome back,” Maddow said after a commercial break during her Thursday night program. “My interview with Secretary Hillary Clinton is subject to an interruption because of this important video of a sneezing panda.”
The host then observed for some reason this footage had been viewed over 200 million times, noting the connection to the concept of “The Panda Principle” found in Clinton’s new book What Happened.
The term was coined by Clinton’s debate preparation partner Philippe Reines as a way to explain why he believed the candidate continually received questions about issues she did not think were relevant to her candidacy.
“Madam Secretary, one of the things that you deal with in a surprisingly straightforward way in your new book is that people are obsessed with your human nature,” Maddow said.
“‘Pandas just live their lives,’” Maddow said, reading from Clinton’s book. “‘They eat bamboo. They play with their kids but for some reason people love watching pandas hoping for something, for anything, to happen.’”
Clinton admits “she was slow to accept” people’s curiosity about her personal life.
“It is true, people ask me these questions all the time,” Clinton said to Maddow. “And I thought, ‘Well, you know what? I just want to embrace it and go ahead and tell you what I have for breakfast and all the rest of it and maybe it will give people a little bit of satisfaction that they know me better than they thought they did.’”
Clinton has participated in numerous interviews corresponding with her book’s launch this month.
During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, she stated that former rival Donald Trump’s presence in the White House was a reason she will remain engaged in the political sphere.
“So, maybe I’m out of politics as a candidate, but I am still deeply committed to doing anything I can to make sure that we don’t lose ground to this divisive bigotry and bias and prejudice and, you know, favoring the wealthy and the well-connected over everybody else that I see as the agenda of this White House,” Clinton said.
“This is not a retired politician,” Maddow observed following her interview with Clinton. “I know she said she’s not going to run again, but this is definitely somebody who is still very much in the arena. Given the circumstances of her election and who won against her I think that’s an incredibly interesting dynamic for the country moving forward.”
Maddow on Clinton: “This is not a retired politician.” https://t.co/taB7ajXM5D
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) September 15, 2017
In What Happened, Clinton lists several factors that contributed to her unexpected loss to Trump last fall, including Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Democratic primary challenge, Russian meddling in the general election, then-FBI Director James Comey’s email investigation announcement, and The New York Times for breaking the story about her use of a private, unsecured email server.
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