Todd: Democratic Base 'Uninspired' by Clinton

August 14, 2015

NBC's Chuck Todd said Democratic rank-and-file voters are largely "uninspired" by Hillary Clinton during a discussion Friday of the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

With reports that former and current Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden are considering jumping into the Democratic field, as well as the huge left-wing enthusiasm for candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Today Show host Savannah Guthrie asked Todd whether that was a sign of dismay with Clinton in the party.

Clinton's campaign has been dogged by a federal investigation into her private email server while Secretary of State and low poll numbers on honesty and trustworthiness.

"All of this unrest, all of this chatter points to two things. Number one, are Democratic voters dissatisfied with the Hillary Clinton candidacy so far, and secondly, do top Democrats, potential candidates, smell weakness, see problems in that candidacy?" Guthrie asked.

Todd said he believed many Democratic donors and politicians who had not yet endorsed Clinton, who is still the favorite to capture the nomination, are concerned she could be a "general election liability."

"I don't think the Democratic Party rank-and-file is dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton," Todd said. "I think the better way to call it is they're uninspired by her. You talk to people that are saying they're for Sanders, and they'll tell you, Savannah, I'll vote for Hillary Clinton if she's the nominee, but they're not so in love with her that they want to go and caucus for her, that they want to put a bumper sticker on their car or a yard sign in their yard. That's sort of the disconnect right now, and that's something Hillary Clinton has to deal with when she comes out to Iowa today."

Todd mentioned Clinton had picked up the endorsement of former Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa). Todd interned for Harkin during his bid for the presidency in 1992. Guthrie disclosed that her husband, Michael Feldman, once worked for Gore at the beginning of the segment, meaning both NBC personalities had direct relationships with two of the Democrats they discussed.