Transcript: Hillary Clinton, Not Holding Back


"Nightline's" Cynthia McFadden spent a day on the campaign trail with New York Senator Hillary Clinton. The following is an excerpt of her interview:

McFadden: As you know, the left wing blogs, you're not their favorite person at the moment.

Clinton: Well, that kind of comes and goes, too. You know, we work together or have common cause in some areas. We disagree in others. But that's true with everybody.

McFadden: You must scratch your head sometimes, though. Either you're too liberal or you're not liberal enough.

Clinton: It's sort of like the Goldilocks theory of politics, you know ... But I have a pretty good idea how difficult it is to be universally liked and I don't expect that.

You know, it's people who, frankly, don't care, who couldn't be bothered, who don't see the challenges that I think our country faces, who I think are really selling themselves short.

McFadden: So an association game, if you'll speak a word or two about the following political folks, OK? President George Bush.

Clinton: Disappointing.

McFadden: Because?

Clinton: Oh, on so many fronts. You know, I think our country is really headed in the wrong direction. And after 9/11, we were united and there was an opportunity for leadership that pulled us together, and not just in the immediate aftermath of that horrific attack, but for months and years and called us to sacrifice on behalf of a larger national purpose.

But that didn't happen and we have paid a big price for it. We're just ending the commemoration of Katrina and everyone knows that was a terrible failure of leadership and a neglect of a big section of our country.

McFadden: All right, so George Bush is disappointing. What about John McCain?

Clinton: Intriguing. I know him as a colleague and a friend. ... He is someone who has strong opinions and doesn't hesitate to express them. I agree in some areas, disagree with many others. But I enjoy his company.

McFadden: Hillary Clinton.

Clinton: Hmmm ... Well, I'm going to leave that to others. I am myself. So, you know, I don't have much objectivity. I am who I am.

McFadden: If you could pick an adjective that you hope people would use to describe you, what would it be?

Clinton: Real. I think that when you've been in the public eye as long as I have and you are basically viewed through so many different lenses and there has been kind of a cottage industry trying to turn me into a caricature of who I am.

I have loved the opportunity the last seven years in New York for people to get to know me. And that doesn't mean a 100 percent are going to like me or vote for me, but it's a much better feeling that comes from people saying, "You know, I get her" or "she's real and I agree with her." And that's all you can hope for.

McFadden: So you've campaigned all day today.

Clinton: I did.

McFadden: And perhaps the greatest campaigner in our generation played golf today.

Clinton: That's right, that's right.

McFadden: I want to ask you about something that's on the minds of a lot of people, which is, is your marriage fair game? The New York Times clearly think so, front page article about how many days you spend with your husband -- 14 is their answer -- a month.

How angry does that article make you?

Clinton: Not at all. You know, I just don't pay any attention to it, I really don't. My attitude is I have no control over what somebody wants to talk about or write about.

McFadden: Really?

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