Mika: What Does Hillary Clinton Stand For?

Kaine can only offer that she's the 'best-qualified' candidate

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There was another painful moment for Hillary Clinton supporters Monday on Morning Joe, when liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski challenged Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) to describe her potential message for her presidential run and he couldn’t do so.

Brzezinski opened the segment by asking Kaine, who has endorsed Clinton for president, to describe her message in 20 seconds or less.

“The message is she has the best experience, both domestically and internationally,” he said. “She has got the accumulated backbone, wisdom, judgment, scar tissue from a long period in public life to be the best President of the United States beginning in 2017.”

Brzezinski was unimpressed.

“You made the time limit,” she said. “You made some really good points about her, which I would agree with in many ways. But it’s not a message. What’s the message? What does she stand for?”

Kaine responded by saying it was because she’s the “best-qualified” and that, since it will be hard for a woman to be elected, the best thing he could do was start campaigning for her as early as possible.

“First, of everybody who is out there who is running or could run or thinking about running, she is the best person to be the 45th president because of that deep background in domestic and international policy and also because of the web of relationships she has with global leaders, public and private,” he said. “But the second fact that is an important one is that it’s going to be hard to get there. It’s going to be hard because being president is always hard. It’s going to be hard because 2016 campaigning is facing off against a Super PAC sludge factory. And it’s going to be hard because look, if it were easy for a woman to be president, there would have been a woman president.”

This isn’t a new trend on Morning Joe. On April 10, The Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol challenged the table to name a single main accomplishment by Clinton, and the entire panel was at a loss.

Full exchange:

TIM KAINE: I am ready for Hillary. I signed onto the ‘Ready for Hillary’ organization’s effort on Saturday at a breakfast they sponsored in South Carolina, and I’m very excited about it.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Ok, so I’m going to give you 20 seconds. I’m putting on a clock. What’s her message?

KAINE: Yep. The message is she has the best experience, both domestically and internationally. She has got the accumulated backbone, wisdom, judgment, scar tissue from a long period in public life to be the best President of the United States beginning in 2017.

BRZEZINSKI: Okay. Okay.

JON HEILEMANN: He made the time limit.

BRZEZINSKI: Okay. You made the time limit. You made some really good points about her, which I would agree with in many ways. But it’s not a message. What’s the message? What does she stand for?

KAINE: I think best-qualified to be president is the message. Best-qualified is the message. You know, Mika, this is something I thought a lot about, and I basically decided on two things. First, of everybody who is out there who is running or could run or thinking about running, she is the best person to be the 45th president because of that deep background in domestic and international policy and also because of the web of relationships she has with global leaders, public and private. But the second fact that is an important one is that it’s going to be hard to get there. It’s going to be hard because being president is always hard. It’s going to be hard because 2016 campaigning is facing off against a Super PAC sludge factory. And it’s going to be hard because look, if it were easy for a woman to be president, there would have been a woman president. There’d be more than 18 percent women in Congress. There’d be more than 5 percent women Fortune 500 CEOS. So, if she’s the right person and if it’s going to be hard, the best thing I can do is get out early and start pushing, and that’s why I did it.