Bill Maher had a great time at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s expense on Thursday night during a special convention coverage edition his comedy panel show “Real Time.”
The comedian’s HBO special edition went on live stream last night after the convention, then the panel sat down to discuss the events right after President Barack Obama’s rousing speech during the convention, so even non-subscribers could enjoy the repartee.
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) July 28, 2016
It’s hard to tell with Maher, who has a way of framing sharp observations inside sly jokes. Maher opened the panel discussion with a stand up routine that focused on quips about the candidates. Of President Obama’s speech, Maher admitted:
‘That’s a tough act to follow.’
He also acknowledged that the Democratic nominee has just made history as the first woman candidate put forth by a major political party. He also poked some well-meant fun at the #DNCLeaks scandal, saying that Hillary Clinton was furious about it.
‘Hillary said, “Hasn’t anyone over there heard of the delete key?” ‘
Maher even made light of the anger of stalwart Bernie Sanders supporters who booed speakers frequently during the first two nights of the convention. Maher quipped:
‘Even Bernie … Bernie wasn’t Bernie enough for the Bernie people. Guys, I get it —you wanted the loveable old Jew, but it’s over. The fiddler has left the roof.’
Maher then dove into former President Bill Clinton’s speech.
‘There wasn’t a dry eye in my house.
‘He described Hillary as compassionate and empathetic — from the big things like the work she’s done with children and the disabled — to the little things like they way she’ll let you come in and get your pillow when you sleep on the couch.’
Later in the show, during his discussion with the panel that included D.L. Hughley, Charles Cooke, and Anthony Weiner, Maher admits that he was crying during President Bill Clinton’s speech:
‘I was watching MSNBC last night, because I’m a liberal, and that’s the law. And I watched Bill Clinton’s speech, literally I was crying. But it was just an amazing speech
‘And Rachel Maddow, who I like very much comes on and says “I think the beginning of this speech was controversial, talking about a girl — Building her whole political story for the first half of speech around her marriage to him — that was not a feminist way to start, I found it shocking and rude.’
Then Maher provides a sort of comic perspective:
‘Are you f*cking kidding me? Bill Clinton’s going to get a blow job from Hillary for the first time in years. He gave it all to her.’
However crudely put, Maher has a point. President Clinton’s speech gave viewers a warmer look at the Democratic nominee, and maybe it was the viewpoint the party needed — the viewpoint of a young man in love and an older man looking back on his life with the same woman. Hillary Clinton has been accused of being cold, indifferent, and aloof, and who better than a spouse to spin anecdotes that brings the real Hillary Clinton to life. Newsweek called it an “elegant love letter.”
But MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, had a different take on the speech in this clip from Real Clear Politics:
And later, Republican strategist, Nicolle Wallace, appeared on MSNBC and agreed with Maddow wholeheartedly, stating that there seemed to be a gender gap involved in some responses to the former president’s speech.
It’s not uncommon for the spouses of presidential candidates to offer glimpses into the couple’s private lives during the convention speech. Former First Lady Laura Bush joked about telling George W. Bush that running for president was an extreme response to “empty nest syndrome.” In her 2008 convention speech, First Lady Michelle Obama talked about her husband playing basketball with her 6’6” brother, Craig.
The Clintons are somewhat handicapped by the lack of boundaries between their public and private lives. Between the scandals around Bill Clinton’s affairs to Hillary Clinton’s involvement in policy during her tenure as First Lady, it has been impossible for the couple to maintain any separation between their private and public lives. So perhaps, throwing open the doors and inviting the entire country into their relationship is the only way they could respond.
You can watch the entire show on YouTube, courtesy of the Real Time channel.
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