For the inaugural episode of Trail Talk, Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin spoke with Beau Willimon, screenwriter and show runner of the Netflix hit political thriller, HOUSE OF CARDS. Following are excerpts of his interview where he discusses the power game in Washington, D.C. and shares his impressions of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign rollout.
POWER IN WASHINGTON
“I think one major truth about politics is that no form of power is absolute. Even if you become the president of the United States, the most powerful man or woman in the Free World, that power comes with limitations, with constraints, with pressures. You may, even if you’re elected, and Francis Underwood wasn’t, you may have a mandate but you still have to work with Congress; you still have to rely on allies; you still have to contend with enemies, and the popular will can shift on a dime. So any president faces these sort of dilemmas, even if they’ve, you know, assumed office with a great deal of popular support behind them. We’ve seen that a number of times in the past few decades, and how quickly that good will can shift.”
ON HILLARY CLINTON’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
“I’m a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I worked a little bit on her first Senate campaign. A lot of my friends have worked for both the Clintons and all of those that worked for Hillary Clinton adore her. I was a big supporter of hers in 2008. She was my senator. I also loved Barack Obama a lot, and I thought for the first time in ages we had an embarrassment of riches in the Democratic Party, where either one of the two major candidates would have made for a good president.
“I’m very biased, you know. I am rooting for Hillary Clinton. I had thought she’d make a good president then and I still believe she’d make a good president now.
“In terms of the rollout itself, I thought it was well done. I really respect the fact that she’s taking nothing for granted, that she’s going to go out and pound the pavement and shake the hands and kiss the babies in New Hampshire and Iowa, if that’s what it takes out there, and, I think there’s a degree of confidence in her campaign but also a degree of humility. And that combination, in the right balance is what we look for in our candidate.”