In front of an adoring crowd chanting “Hill-ar-y! Hill-ar-y,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained foreign policy Tuesday night on “The Colbert Report” using farm animals as examples.
After a one-upsman’s game of name dropping that saw Clinton josh about her past interactions with world leaders and Colbert brag about his connections to Oprah, the prospective 2016 presidential candidate broke this thing, diplomacy, down for nothing. Colbert posed a hypothetical “hard choice” (ha!) to Clinton in which she had to choose between fighting a horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses.
“I admit, that it is a valid question. Here’ s what I’d do. First, I’d try to find common ground between ducks and horses. For example, they both grew up on Old McDonald’s farm. Then, I’d establish a timetable to achieve meaningful horse-duck dialogue. And Stephen, I’m convinced, with patience and a strong commitment from our allies, the pigs and the geese, we’d have peace peace here, peace peace there, everywhere a peace!”
“E-i-e-i-o you’re good!” Colbert responded.
A quick word about Hillary and late-night appearances of late. She’s knocked out the Big Two of cable comedy-news for millennials, “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” within the past month. In the first, Jon Stewart allowed her to talk ad nauseam about her experiences on the foreign policy circuit and her takes on current diplomatic crises, and it was a bore. In the latter, she made a “surprise” appearance that was brief and scripted, and rarely does “scripted” with a politician come off as unforced. (For instance, she thanked Colbert for plugging her book at the end of her segment with a, “Thanks, Stephen. Now was that such a hard choice?” Gah.)
Even when it works, such as in the obscure and hilarious Mark Begich appearance on the “Alaska Robotics” YouTube channel to talk about the NSA, it’s still prone to be awkward.
Two programs — granted, different in aim, for as much as Stewart wants to disown his role as journalistic satirist, his show features interviews that don’t include the parody of Colbert — and two approaches to appeal to the young types that watch these shows. (And plug her book, of course.) It’s not that she’s rambling in one and robotic in the other, it’s that she seems … aimless. Such is life when she hasn’t found her media sweet spot.