Question: Is Hillary un-likeable?
Ted Sorensen: Oh let’s not get into Hillary’s likeability. I don’t want her to cry. Let’s simply point out that no one has ever said she communicates as well, as smoothly, as effectively as her husband. He was a great political communicator. She reads a speech very well, but Ronald Reagan went a long way reading a speech very well. But I don’t think anyone has ever said that she is as inspiring as Obama. She would proudly acknowledge that. After all, Cicero was not as aspiring as Demothenese. Seward was not as inspiring as Abraham Lincoln. Not every famous, intelligent, likeable leader can be inspiring.
Question: It’s because she’s not an effective communicator?
Ted Sorensen: It’s part of it, but it’s not her lack of intelligence. She is . . . It’s not her lack of intelligence at all. She is intelligent. She reflects her briefings very well in the debates when she spells off one, two, three, four; what a particular program will consist of and do. But for some time now we’ve been nominating Democrats like Mondale, and Gore, and Dukakis, and Carey. They can all recite those four point programs very well. It sounded as though they were lecturing to an MIT political science class, or the editorial board of the New York Times. They were likeable. They were intelligent, but they were all losers.
Recorded on: 1/30/08