Just two days after Bernie Sanders spent most of his Jimmy Kimmel Live interview attacking Donald Trump, as opposed to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton sat down in the same chair and made her case to the American people.
“Bernie Sanders was here on Tuesday and Secretary Clinton is here tonight,” Kimmel said during his monologue. “They’re an interesting pair because they’re still competing with each other, but eventually we know they’re going to team up to stop the deranged billionaire who wants to take over the world… which if you think about it is basically the plot to Batman v Superman the movie.”
When Clinton sat down beside him, the host started grilling her about her fundraising trip to Los Angeles. She managed to both defend her own efforts while also denouncing Citizens United in the process.
And in response to Kimmel’s prodding about comments by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, about the “awful legacy” of the past eight years, she pivoted to praising Obama and hitting Republicans for attempting to damage that legacy by refusing to even consider his Supreme Court nominee. “That to me is just beyond partisanship,” Clinton said.
Before too long, the discussion inevitably turned to Donald Trump, who Clinton said she looks forward to facing in the general election. “If he’s the nominee, I look forward to debating him, yes, absolutely,” she said. “Because I actually think most voters, when you start focusing on who can do the job, who can be president, who can be commander-in-chief, what you stand for, what you say you will do—I think voters take that responsibility seriously. And I look forward to debating him and trying to figure out where he stands on issues.”
Asked by Kimmel if she thinks Trump knows who the prime minister of Canada is, Clinton replied, simply, “No.”
After a break, Kimmel got down to business by reading aloud one of Clinton’s most “boring” emails about things like ordering apples. “This is about pot, right?” the host asked, leading into a question about legalization of marijuana, which Sanders supports at a federal level and Clinton does not. She did, however, clarify that she intends to remove the drug from its Schedule 1 designation, which would allow for more research.
“Are you jealous of Bernie Sanders’s slogan ‘Feel the Bern?’” Kimmel wanted to know, before presenting some of his own suggestions such as “Hillin’ Like a Villain” and “Netflix and Hill.”
“I know you think of your husband as your secret weapon,” Kimmel said, “but I feel like I am going to be your secret weapon now. I’m going to help you win this election no problem. Are you familiar with mansplaining?”
“That’s when a man explains something to a woman in a patronizing way?” she responded.
“Actually, it’s when a man explains something to a woman in a condescending way, but you were close,” Kimmel corrected her.
Behind a lectern with her “Fighting for us” logo on it, Clinton attempted to deliver her stump speech while Kimmel fired blatantly sexist comments at her regarding her clothes and overall demeanor. First, he told her she was being too “shrill” and then that she needed to speak up. “You know what would be nice, if you smiled,” Kimmel added.
Past the point when the bit had run its course, Clinton stopped Kimmel to say his comments were a bit “contradictory.” He couldn’t quite figure out what was bothering him about her, but then she put her finger on it: she’s not a “man.”
“But that was really cute the way you did it, though,” Kimmel said. Presumably the whole thing was intended to make a point about the way Clinton is treated by the media and her fellow candidates as the only woman in the race, but in the end it didn’t quite deliver.
Sarcastic sexism aside, over the course of three segments Kimmel went fairly easy on Clinton, treating her more like a presumptive general election nominee than a candidate still locked in a primary battle with Sanders. Clinton may be eager to take on Trump directly, and for the most part, Kimmel helped her get one step closer to making it happen.