Hillary Clinton’s Unconvincing Response To A Tough Question

Polls show that many Americans — including many Democrats — harbor doubts about whether Hillary Clinton is trustworthy.

It’s in that context that Secretary Clinton faced a line of questioning about her honesty late last week from CBS News anchor Scott Pelley. He asked an absolute question — “Have you always told the truth?” — which few people would be able to answer with a simple “yes.”

You can probably see why that’s a challenging question to field. In this post, I’ll discuss four possible approaches to answer it.

Donald Trump Phone

Do Phone Interviews Give Donald Trump An Unfair Advantage?

You may have noticed that most of the news networks allow Donald Trump to conduct interviews by phone.

That’s a break from the norm — most bookers want their guests, including other presidential candidates, to appear on camera. And, given Trump’s propensity to filibuster while on the phone, it leads to a question of whether phone interviews give the candidate more power.

I recently had a Twitter exchange about this topic with talk show host Montel Williams and CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Political Wire Logo2

What’s Your Favorite Website? Here’s Mine.

On many mornings since 2003, I’ve started my day by visiting Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire. It’s a nonpartisan site that pulls together brief excerpts from all over the political world—everything from critical analyses and poll numbers to obscure state races and sublimely ridiculous absurdities.

I’m not alone in recognizing his work. If you look at the bottom of his site, you’ll see an impressive roster of his fans, which include Chuck Todd, Joe Scarborough, and Arianna Huffington.

In this post, you’ll also find a special offer for Mr. Media Training readers.


June 2015: The Worst Video Media Disaster

Joe Biden’s oldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer on May 30. It was the latest blow in a life of tragedies for the vice president, whose first wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972. 

In response to the news, politicians on the opposite side of the aisle suspended partisan attacks


15 Years Ago Today: A Wave I’ll Never Forget

On October 20, 1999, Elizabeth Dole—a former Reagan and Bush cabinet secretary—ended her bid for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.

I was working at CNN in Washington, D.C. at the time. As I was leaving work late that night and crossing through the building’s quiet front lobby, I noticed Ms. Dole entering for her appearance on


If You Commit Gaffes, Do You Get A Pass To Commit More?

Nathan Gonzales, an old friend and colleague who serves as the Deputy Editor of the well-regarded Rothenberg Political Report, recently sent me an interesting theory: 

“Here is a working hypothesis for politicians: The more stupid things you say, the more leeway you are allowed. Basically, if you have a reputation for being a straight talker or


Hillary Clinton Needs A New Message, Stat!

Hillary Clinton has been talking about her wealth—or relative lack thereof—a lot lately, and her responses have done more to raise eyebrows and encourage additional follow up questions than to satisfy the questions and put a close to the issue.

The topic came up during an interview with Diane Sawyer earlier this month, and Secretary Clinton


The Smear Cycle: Hillary Clinton May Have Brain Damage

Karl Rove, the former top advisor to President Bush, launched a new smear campaign against Hillary Clinton late last week. Speaking at a conference, Rove brought up Clinton’s 2012 health scare, during which she spent several days in a hospital. From The New York Post:

“Thirty days in the hospital?” Rove said, according to Page Six.

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