“My first visit to the Cathedral of Colbert,” Hillary Clinton proclaimed.
Yes, she was—as Colbert made it perfectly known—the fifth presidential nominee to grace the stage of The Late Show, and yes, given Clinton’s near-mandatory level of research, she came off gracefully in batting practice, aka the opening moments.
When asked what she “binge-watched,” Clinton said that she and Bill “finally finished” House of Cards, but then oddly copped to being a fan of a couple of series inspired by her: Madam Secretary and The Good Wife. Although if it were us in her place, perhaps we’d be fans of TV series based on us too.
Clinton then redirected the pressure on Colbert, questioning his pseudo-conservative persona on The Colbert Report—one that the George W. Bush administration fell for in hilarious fashion during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“I was playing a character who did not care for you,” replied Colbert, grin firmly in tact.
“Well, I can say it now, it was mutual,” said Hillary, trying to grin over-the-top of Colbert.
One of the most interesting points of the chat was when Colbert challenged Hillary on her political past. As some of you may not know, Hillary Clinton was once President of the Young Republicans at Wellesley. Yep. When Colbert pressed her on the issue, she gave a brief explainer.
“You know, my father, the gender-gap in politics started in my house,” she said. “My father was a small-businessman, and a Republican, and he was very staunch in his views, and we would have lots of discussions around the kitchen table. My mother, who had a much different upbringing, was just a wonderful person but was abandoned by her parents and working as a housemaid when she was 14, so she came at politics in life with a much more broader perspective. So I would be in the middle of these great discussions. I went to college on my dad’s side, as a Young Republican, and then one day, I kind of looked around and thought, ‘I need to think about this some more.’”
Later in their chat, Colbert pressured Clinton on whether or not she was riding her husband’s coattails, telling her that “the ’90s” can’t come back again.“Look, I’m not running for my husband’s third term, I’m not running for Obama’s third term, I’m running for my first term,” she said. “But I’m running to do what works, and we have an understanding of what works. And the wealthy need to pay more. I’m sorry to break it to you, but they do.”
But one of the most telling moments during their chat was related to the financial crisis. Colbert asked Hillary whether or not, as president, she would have let the banks fail. “Yes, they will fail,” she replied. “And if they’re too big to fail, and under my plan, and under others that have been proposed, then they may have to be broken up. Because if you can’t manage it, then it’s more likely to fail.”