'Whiny' Hillary's White House Test Run Off to Rocky Start

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Monday, 16 Jun 2014 09:45 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Hillary Clinton has been criticized as rusty and unpolished after re-entering the political spotlight during her test run as a potential White House contender, according to news reports.

The former secretary of state had expected her book tour for "Hard Choices" would help her lay the foundation as the presumed front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

But she has faced criticism that she looks "unpolished" and not presidential in her interviews while also appearing out of practice after taking six years off from the front line of politics, The Wall Street Journal reported.

She opened her round of hand-picked media interviews with her much maligned comment to ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and Bill Clinton were left "dead broke" after he had completed his two-term presidency.

Clinton was called tone deaf to the feelings of hardworking citizens, especially in light of the fact that at the time she and Bill were soon likely to make a fortune on the lecture tour.

After the "dead broke" remark reverberated across the country, Clinton quickly attempted damage control during an interview on ABC’s "Good Morning America" by saying that she and Bill Clinton were millions of dollars in debt due to the legal bills he had incurred during his presidency.

The Journal described the scene at a forum in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked her: "Dead broke? Really?" Clinton then admitted that her comments could have been more sensitive, although the word she used was "artful."

Clinton, who is not expected to announce whether she will enter the presidential race until after the midterms, also became agitated while being interviewed by persistent NPR host Terry Gross.

She turned her nose up at a suggestion from Gross that she had only come out in favor of gay marriages last year until after it became beneficial for her politically when same-sex unions started gaining widespread support.

When Gross said she was trying to clarify Clinton’s timeline for backing gay weddings, the former first lady snapped, "No, I don't think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons."

CNN’s "Inside Politics" host John King said that many Clinton loyalists even thought her comments were "whiny," while also suggesting that sometimes she had sounded "testy" and "detached." He also said that she appeared rusty.

Tommy Vietor, a former White House aide who is helping to promote Clinton’s book, told the Journal that potential voters like the fact that the former first lady speaks her mind.

"Sometimes that is going to make news, but she doesn't really care anymore," he said. "She's going to call it how she sees it, and people are responding to that in a positive way."

Clinton was beaten by Barack Obama in 2008 when she was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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