MSNBC Rips Clinton's 'Hamfisted' 'Stagecraft' Right After Announcing She'd Be More Spontaneous

September 9, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appeared far too eager this week to engage in what her campaign said would be a greater display of heart and emotion going forward, MSNBC's Morning Joe panel said Wednesday, calling it "hamfisted" and obvious "stagecraft."

In a short time span after much derided-announcements from her campaign that Clinton would try to be more spontaneous, she choked up in an ABC interview talking about her mother, danced with comedian Ellen DeGeneres during a taping for her daytime talk show, and announced she would appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

It all felt like too much, too soon.

"We all laughed yesterday about how calculated this was," host Joe Scarborough said. "You don't expect her to be so hamfisted that the day after your aides go to the New York Times and say, 'We're going to start having more fun,' that she's dancing that afternoon."

Co-host Willie Geist said Clinton was "more than capable" of showing off her positive personal traits, but the campaign was over-managing.

"She's talented, she's smart, she's impressive, she's all of those things," Geist said. "But when you announce it first in such explicit terms, then deliver on it the same day, it just all looks too much like stagecraft."

After months of sinking poll numbers and a Democratic primary race that's much closer than many predicted, Clinton aides told the New York Times this week there would be a greater effort to "bring spontaneity" to her candidacy, drawing derision from onlookers for being too calculated.

Clinton also finally apologized Tuesday in her interview with ABC for her use of a private email server while secretary of state, just days after telling the Associated Press she felt she had done nothing wrong.

"That was a mistake," Clinton said. "I’m sorry about that, I take responsibility, and I’m trying to be as transparent as I possibly can."