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Hillary Clinton Campaign Press Release - Hillary Clinton Went "Off Message." Here's What We Learned

April 10, 2016

Including an extremely astute take on flying.

Hillary Clinton recently sat down for a candid conversation about the 2016 election with journalist Glenn Thrush on POLITICO's "Off Message" podcast.

You can listen to the whole hourlong conversation here—but if you're short on time, check out these five key takeaways.

1. Hillary's philosophy about flying is a pretty good philosophy for living.

Thrush shared a memory from the press plane during Hillary's 2008 campaign: "I was not a happy flier, and nothing ever seemed to bother you," he said. "I mean, we were in some really hairy situations, and you would sleep your way through it."

"That is the answer to everything," Hillary responded. "When you're facing a difficult issue that you absolutely cannot do anything about—in this case, I can't fly the plane, I can't change the weather—falling asleep, you'll either wake up and things will be fine, or you won't. ... It's been my observation that so many people worry about things that they are either ruminating over the past, which doesn't help you get the focus and energy you need to get up every day and go forward, or they're worrying about stuff that they have absolutely no control over. So I have developed that kind of philosophy in my life over the years."

2. She doesn't think she's a natural politician.

Hillary admits that campaigning is hard—and it didn't come naturally to her. Even something as seemingly simple as using the pronoun "I" was an adjustment. "I'm very comfortable saying, you know, ?he,' ?she,' ?we,'" Hillary said. "But when I had to stand up in front of people and basically say, ?I'm asking for your vote, I'm telling you what I want to do,' that took years. It absolutely took years."

But Hillary says while asking for a job is a challenge, she thrives on the job when she gets it. "I am someone who loves doing the job that I have. I would love having the job of president because I know how to do it. I know what the country needs. But the campaigning part is hard for me. I think I've gotten better."

3. She's a policy wonk—and proud of it.

"I really believe part of what this campaign has to do is rebuild people's faith in our national mission," Hillary said. "How do we get the economy to work? How do we get the government to work? How do we get our political system to work? And I feel strongly that I owe people a clear set of ideas, and I want to lay those out.

"And I know that sometimes I get criticized for, ?Oh, my gosh, there she goes with another plan.' You know, ?Forget the plan, just, you know, do the rhetorical flourish.' I really believe that when this is all over—and I will have won, hopefully—in large measure it will be because I came out and told people, ?Here's what I want to do, here's how I think I can do it, here are the results I believe I can get, and I want you to hold me accountable for it.' I think that's what politics should be about, so I'm very comfortable doing that."

Hillary's right—she does have a lot of plans. Explore them here.

4. She's ready to stand up to bullies—and that includes the Republican candidates for president.

Speaking about "mean-spirited" Republican candidates in this election, Hillary reflected: "We can have differences. Look, I'm well-aware that it's a contact sport. I understand that. But when it gets right down to it, you've got to offer Americans your credentials, because it's a huge interviewing and hiring process. And people have to decide, ?What do I know about this person? Is this the person I want in the Oval Office? Is this the person I want to be both president and Commander-in-Chief?' And that requires a level of dialogue and debate that is civil, that does have a purpose to it other than just, you know, making a point."

5. She's fighting to fix income inequality—and every other kind of inequality.

"I don't think any right that we have is less important than any other issue," Hillary said. "You know, I have said repeatedly, ?I am going to attack income inequality,' and I think I have a pretty good plan to do so. I don't just tell you what I'm against. I tell you what I'm for and how I would do it.

"But there are other forms of inequality. There is desperate education inequality in America, and I think every kid deserves a good teacher and a good school regardless of the ZIP code that he or she lives in. Racial inequality, sexual orientation inequality, gender inequality. So when somebody says, ?Yeah, yeah, it's important, but let's talk about the really important issues. Don't let us get distracted from hearing the same thing we've heard now, over and over again about income inequality,' that bothers me, and I did speak out about it."

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Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Campaign Press Release - Hillary Clinton Went "Off Message." Here's What We Learned Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317119

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