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Tonight’s democratic debate co-moderator and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow thinks Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is a political phenomenon, but probably won’t be president.
“People love him. They really do feel the Bern,” she says in a new interview with Playboy. “He gets tens of thousands of people to turn out, but that sort of economic populism is a tough sell. The diagnosis is right; the cure isn’t easy. My prediction for Bernie: populist hero forever but hard to imagine him still being there at the convention.”
Does Maddow think Hillary Clinton can win? “This election may come down to who has the best national security message,” she told Playboy contributing editor David Hochman, in an interview that was conducted over a series of days in New York, and is set to appear in Playboy’s March issue (on newsstands next Friday), the first in the magazine’s 62-year history that will not feature explicit nudity.
“The one Hillary has is really different from President Obama’s,” Maddow said. “She told me to my face that she’s not as hawkish as people think she is and she won’t be a more aggressive commander-in-chief, but I don’t believe her.”
As for the Republicans? “It’s fascinating how Republicans pick their candidates. Honestly, I think the Republican Party’s voters are drunk. I’m sure they’re having a great time and they feel euphoric, but you can’t eat a ton of greasy food and not feel terrible in the morning.”
Asked if Fox News is “an evil empire,” Maddow said no:
There are people on Fox I respect a lot. I’m friends with Greta Van Susteren. Real friends. She’s a good social drinker, she’s funny, her husband’s hilarious, and she always has great stories about, like, just coming back from Burundi. She’s a warhorse. Shepard Smith is awesome. The same way I want to hear Bill Maher talk about his interesting life, I want to hear Shep talk about his. He’s a fun-loving guy who’s got the tiger by the tail. Because he’s on Fox, he’s Mr. Gravitas, but he’s such a crazed football fan that at some point he will cast a bet on a game that results in a face tattoo. I used to love Glenn Beck on the radio before he went into Fox. He was approaching my hero Howard Stern in terms of how good he was with the medium. But then he went into messianic territory. He thinks of himself in religious terms now, which is no fun for anybody.
Maddow says she, however, would never fit in with “all those blondes at Fox. I mean, if I worked at a place where they did not allow you to wear sleeves, could you imagine? Or where all desks had Lucite bottoms so you could show your shins. Jesus, I feel very lucky that at MSNBC they’re like, ‘You’re fine in the $19 blazer.'”