To the dismay of Jon Stewart, Hillary Clinton did not make her big announcement on "The Daily Show" on Tuesday.
The comedian and talk show host opened his interview with the former secretary of state and possible presidential candidate by praising her memoir, "Hard Choices," before pivoting to the question Clinton is asked everywhere she goes.
"It's an incredibly complex and well-reasoned and eyewitness view," Stewart said of the book. "I think I speak for everybody when I say no one cares. They just want to know if you're running for president. Are you?"
"I was going to make an announcement, but I saw ... you kind of spoiled it," Clinton replied. "So I have to reconsider where I go do it."
Stewart then rephrased his question, and asked if she would like to work in an office that has corners.
"You know, I think that the world is so complicated, the fewer corners that you can have, the better," Clinton said to applause from the studio audience.
The 66-year-old former first lady said she's not surprised that her book tour and speculation about her possible candidacy have led to attacks from the GOP. But she believes it would continue even if she announced she was not running for president.
"I've been amazed at what a cottage industry it is," Clinton said. "So I kind of expect it would continue."
The conversation then shifted to income inequality.
"We have six million young people between 16 and 24 in our country who are neither in school nor in work," she said. "They've given up. That's a terrible development. So, yeah, I think that people don't feel [equal]. And I think we have to change both our economic and our political systems so that we can make it a reality again."
Before throwing to a commercial break, Stewart asked, "When we come back, will you tell us how to do that?"
Clinton — who was making her first appearance on "The Daily Show" since 2008 — lamented the gridlock in Congress and what she called the "crisis in our democracy."
Stewart asked the former secretary to define current U.S. foreign policy.
"We can't practice diplomacy and define our foreign policy as leaders talking to leaders anymore, because that's not the way the world works," Clinton said. "People are empowered from the bottom up. What I found when I became secretary of state is that so many people in the world — especially young people — they had no memory of the United States liberating Europe and Asia, beating the Nazis, fighting the Cold War and winning. That was just ancient history. They didn't know the sacrifices we had made and the values that motivated us to do it."
America's "story," she said, needs to be retold.
"We have not been telling our story very well," Clinton said. "We do have a great story. We are not perfect by any means, but we have a great story about human freedom, human rights, human opportunity. And let's get back to telling it — to ourselves first and foremost — and believing it about ourselves and then taking that around the world. That's what we should be standing for.
"I remember when Václav Havel, the great dissident and first president of the Czech Republic, told me that Lou Reed had been his inspiration," she added. "American culture, American ideas permeated the world. Well, fast forward, that ended, and we kind of thought, 'OK, fine, end of history, democracy won.'"
The crisis in Ukraine illuminated the need for effective U.S. storytelling, Clinton said.
"Look at what happened initially with Ukraine," she continued. "Russian media was much more effective in sort of telling a story. It wasn't true, but they kept repeating it over and over again. So I think we have to get back to a consensus in our own country about who we are and what we stand for."
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