Hillary Clinton may not be running for president in 2020 (. . . we think), but she’s been plenty busy this campaign season promoting her new book, The Book of Gutsy Women, which she co-authored with her daughter, Chelsea. (Also: feuding with Tulsi Gabbard. She’s been doing that, too.)
On Wednesday morning, Clinton sat down for a lengthy, free-flowing interview with Howard Stern, during which the former first lady went deep on everything from the role sexism played in the 2016 election to dark matter.
Here are some highlights:
When the conversation turned to the 2016 election, Stern was curious about Clinton’s debates with Donald Trump, particularly how Trump famously sidled into Clinton’s space on the stage, ostensibly as a way to intimidate her. Stern said Clinton was “too nice,” and while she conceded that she was “very careful,” she explained the role sexism may have played in her restraint.
“Throughout a lot of my professional and public career, part of it was that training,” she said. “You’re a woman trying to do something that not many other women or any women have ever done. You’ve got to stay focused. Don’t get distracted. Guys are going to be trying to say this and say that. You have to just keep going.”
The “training” dates back to when she was taking a law exam at Harvard and was harassed in the classroom by men who said she “didn’t belong” and that if she passed and one of the them didn’t, it could have meant they’d be sent to Vietnam and killed. After she passed the bar and began practicing law, she said, people in small towns would be startled by the existence of a female lawyer and come out to see her, as if she were a “talking dog.”
All of the attention conditioned her to keep her head down and focus on herself, which may have informed her cautious debate performance. Regardless, Clinton says it wouldn’t have worked out if she was more aggressive, as the headlines would have focused on how she lost her cool. “It would have worked against me,” she said. “The pundits would have said, ‘Well if she can’t take Donald Trump, how is she going to take Vladimir Putin.”
On Lindsey Graham
Clinton lamented the divisive nature of Congress under Trump, recounting the days when senators would actually, you know, work together to pass legislation. One senator with whom she used to work, travel, and fawn over John McCain with was Lindsey Graham. Graham has since lost his mind, according to Clinton, and possibly sold his soul to Satan, as well.
Stern: “Has he sold his soul to the devil?”
Clinton: “I don’t know the answer to that. I think that’s a fair question, however.”
“I don’t know what’s happened to Lindsey Graham,” she said, adding, “It’s like he had a brain snatch.”
On the Beatles
“You put on the ‘White Album,’ you listen to that, you learn something every time. It’s unreal.”
On Bernie Sanders
When Stern asked Clinton if Sanders could have endorsed her quicker in 2016, she acknowledged that he could have. “He could have,” she said. “He hurt me. There’s no doubt about it. He hurt me.”
“I’m disappointed,” she said of his hesitance to endorse her. “I hope he doesn’t do it again to whoever gets the nomination. Once is enough.”
On her faith
“I have a deep faith,” she said before saying she believes there is a God and that when we die we’re going to go “somewhere.”
“We’re learning more and more about what holds the universe together,” she continued. “Dark matter makes up most of the universe. We really don’t quite know what it is. It’s energy. I think religious belief and science are compatible, unlike those who reject one or the other. I think that energy doesn’t die. Energy keeps going.”
“That’s comforting,” Stern said.