On the January 28 edition of the NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, discussing the potential 2008 presidential candidacies of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Time blogger Andrew Sullivan said “when I see [Clinton] ... all the cootie vibes sort of resurrect themselves." Sullivan added that he considered Clinton a “very sensible senator,” stated that it was “hard to disagree with her on the war,” and admitted that he “actually [found] her positions appealing in many ways.” Nevertheless, he concluded: “I just can't stand her. I'm sorry about that.”
As Media Matters for America noted, on the December 3 edition of the same program, Sullivan claimed Clinton was “still radioactive blue” and “also a terrible politician.”
Sullivan's comments were first noted by Bob Somerby on his weblog, The Daily Howler.
From the January 28 edition of the NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, during a panel discussion among NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent and guest host Andrea Mitchell, Sullivan, Newsweek magazine chief political correspondent Howard Fineman, CBS national political correspondent Gloria Borger, and Time magazine columnist Ana Marie Cox:
MITCHELL: Bottom line. We put it to the “Matthews Meter,” 12 of our regular panelists. “Can the Clintons stop Obama before the primaries?” This one is not even close. By 11 to 1, the panel says Obama cannot be stopped. Andrew, that's the bottom line for you as well?
SULLIVAN: Well, I just think as a candidate, he's so fresher than Hillary, that she harkens back to the '90s. I think she's been a very sensible senator. I think, in fact, it's hard to disagree with her on the war. But when I see her again, all my -- all the cootie vibes --
SULLIVAN: -- sort of resurrect themselves.
FINEMAN: That's a technical term, by the way.
SULLIVAN: I just -- I'm sorry I must --
FINEMAN: We in politics --
SULLIVAN: -- represent a lot of people. I actually find her positions appealing in many ways. I just can't stand her. I'm sorry about that.
FINEMAN: Wait a minute. In fairness to her, after this rollout that she had this week, the numbers in our poll, in the Newsweek poll and others -- very positive, very powerful actually.
MITCHELL: And in fact --
FINEMAN: Cooties notwithstanding.
SULLIVAN: But look how -- if you look at her polling over the years, it is absolutely dead straight-line. People who don't like her are not going to change their minds, and they're about over 40 percent of the population.
BORGER: Isn't it interesting that the woman is the most qualified and the establishment candidate.
MITCHELL: And the establishment. We'll be right back with scoops and predictions.