Last night (Oct. 27), Hillary Clinton became the fifth US presidential candidate to appear on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, where she discussed life on the campaign trail and her plans for boosting the American middle class.
She also talked about the television shows she watches. Clinton told Colbert that three of her favorite shows to binge-watch are House of Cards, Madam Secretary, and The Good Wife.
House of Cards is an exaggerated look at the duplicitous nature of Washington politics (“Another murder, I mean really,” Clinton joked)—but the other two shows are essentially based on Clinton’s political career. She’s like an ER doctor who comes home after work to watch ER.
Madam Secretary, which follows a female Secretary of State, was partly inspired by the first Benghazi hearings in 2013. The show’s creators were trying to figure out their main character when they watched Clinton testify before US Congress about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, and Madam Secretary was born.
The Good Wife is similarly Clinton-inspired. The legal-political drama about a litigator and her disgraced politician husband took cues directly from scandals like former US president Bill Clinton’s extramarital affair.
While the premise of The Good Wife draws on Clinton’s life, the current season of the show is literally about her. The aforementioned disgraced politician husband is now the governor of Illinois and running for president against real-life Hillary Clinton. Not a Hillary-like character—the actual Hillary Clinton. “It’s so much more interesting to us if we could make it as real a race as possible,” Michelle King, one of the showrunners, told Vulture.
The Clinton campaign is making a concerted effort to show the former Secretary of State as fun and personable (paywall). Some of Clinton’s critics argue that her biggest political weakness—one that may have contributed to her losing the Democratic primaries to Barack Obama in 2012—is that she has a “likability” problem (though even that is mired in not-so-subtle sexism). What’s more endearing than watching shows that are about you?