Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager appeared on MSNBC Tuesday morning to deliver his normal dose of Election Day spin, but he seemed more hesitant about her chances in Indiana and North Carolina, despite gaining momentum in recent weeks.
Terry McAuliffe made dramatic shows of solid victory predictions before recent primaries and caucuses in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. He seemed less sure of Clinton’s chances Tuesday morning, and it took nearly five minutes of cajoling from the Morning Joe hosts — including a doe-eyed plea from Mika Brzezinski — before he would firmly predict an Indiana win for Clinton.
In a departure from his previous bravado, McAuliffe opened his appearance with a recitation of Team Clinton’s latest spin about Barack Obama’s previously high poll numbers in Indiana and North Carolina and Clinton’s efforts to close those gaps.
“I feel very good about where we are in both states,” McAuliffe said.
Host Joe Scarborough and Brezezinski went on to ask him a dozen more times for a flat yes-or-no answer, but he resisted nearly all their entreaties.
“Wait, wait,” Scarborough said. “You’re hedging, dude. Are you going to win Indiana and North Carolina?”
McAuliffe pivoted to a woeful tale about being outspent by Obama in the states. He predicted that Clinton would “defy expectations.”
Growing frustrated, Scarborough turned to his co-host.
“Terry,” Brezezinski purred, “Cough it up. Predictions?”
Still he would not budge.
This all continued for a few more minutes, with the co-hosts growing increasingly frustrated, trying to shame him into a prediction
“It’s just not the Terry I know,” Brezezinski said.
“You don’t understand, Terry, you’re a hero to little boys across the country. Women swoon at your presence because they go, ‘There goes the man that predicts elections on Morning Joe,'” Scarborough cajoled. “But you have given us no predictions.”
Finally, McAuliffe had had enough.
“Alright,” he relented. “I’m going to predict we win Indiana. And we’re going to win West Virginia, and we’re gonna win Kentucky, and we’re going to win Puerto Rico.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast May 6, 2008.