When Palm Beach County-based, nationally syndicated radio host Randi Rhodes ended her program in May of 2014, it left a gaping silence on the airwaves—especially in South Florida, where for years she was the only liberal voice on the terrestrial band.
Luckily for her legions of fans, Rhodes’ broadcasting hiatus proved to be short-lived. Two years after leaving radio, Rhodes is back, this time on an Internet-only format. Thanks to more than $152,000 in Kickstarter funds, Rhodes’ team has built a studio in Delray Beach, where she’ll broadcast from 4 to 6 p.m. on her website and other outlets beginning on June 13.
Last week, Boca Raton secured the first interview with Rhodes since her comeback. Most of it will be published our September-October issue—just in time for what promises to be a steel-cage death-match sort of presidential election. But we couldn’t resist asking Rhodes a few questions about the political news of the day. Here’s what she had to say.
Assuming that Hillary Clinton is not indicted, and that she does end up becoming the Democratic nominee, is it enough for her to say to the committed Sanders supporters, “Vote for me, because I’m not Donald Trump?”
No, she’s going to have to give Sanders something. And she’s going to have to pick a vice president that Sanders supporters would say, “OK, I can vote for that.” First of all, let’s look at it from a positive point of view: I don’t want to run against Hillary; I want to run for Bernie. So let’s just say that Bernie did not do all of this—we did not do all of this—to get nothing. When Hillary stands there and says, “I unified the party for Barack Obama when it was clear to me that I couldn’t get the delegates,” that’s not true. Hillary went all the way to … the very last primary. She unified the party after … she was offered Secretary of State, perhaps?
So Bernie is going to get something out of it too. This is politics. You don’t run that hard and that long and get that many millions of votes only to be chosen by the superdelegates and a handful—you know what I mean?—of insiders, and then your competitor says, “nice job, I’ll be over here.” That doesn’t happen.
So we will get something that we want, and who knows what it is. I know already we have good seats on the platform committee, which is nonbinding, so that’s a start, but not what we want—we want more. I don’t know if Bernie wants to be vice president, I don’t know if Elizabeth Warren wants to be vice president. Everybody adores her, but she won’t endorse either …
I’m really disappointed she didn’t endorse Bernie, because they obviously share the same values.
Everybody is. But what could be going on is that Elizabeth Warren wants a place at the executive table, and she knows the way to do it is to not endorse, and this is how she’ll get into cabinet meetings—by being calm, cool, collected and thoughtful about what she does.
Did you predict that Trump would ascend to the level that he has?
Yes, the second he started, I said, “he’s going to be their nominee.” I was on Alan Colmes’ show saying it months and months ago. Here’s my prediction: If there’s a right-wing libertarian on the ballot in all 50 states—Gary Johnson—I bet you anything it’s because Hillary wants him there to peel off some voters from Trump. I said a long time ago, and people said, “you’re crazy,” that Donald Trump did this for Hillary. Because they’ve been friends for years and years, and now all of a sudden they’re not friends? I know this is crazy, and a lot of my own fans won’t agree with me, but I thought Donald Trump was doing this for Hillary. I think what happened is he actually realized he could win, and Hillary also does, and Gary Johnson is the only firewall that could peel off enough votes from Trump to let Hillary do it.
Trump seems like an Andy Kaufman experiment—an exercise in “how extreme do I need to go to be disqualified?”
See, when he started saying some of the really outrageous things—not the horrible bigotry, and the things against women, and the personal stuff—but when he started saying, “maybe we would nuke Europe,” all that stuff, I said, “oh my God, he’s trying to lose,” because Hillary just said “OK, Donald, pull the plug, enough.” And he can’t lose! He said, “if I shot somebody live on camera in Times Square, I still would win.” It’s like he’s trying to lose. And I think he might be. But he can’t! Because these people are totally drinking the Kool-Aid. They’re totally in it with him.
The Republicans who said such horrible things about Trump and are now supporting them … how do they sleep at night?
Well, how do they sleep at night cutting food stamps, know what I mean? How do they sleep at night knowing that 40 million of their people can’t see a doctor? How do they sleep at night knowing they promote hatred because of somebody’s sexual orientation? The fact that they’re politicians, and one day the enemy of the enemy is my friend, so what, that’s nothing. Don Corleone knew it was Barzini all along, but he hugged him at a meeting. It’s like that.
The Randi Rhodes Show re-launches at 4 p.m. June 13. Stream the show at randirhodes.com, or order a podcast subscription to listen anytime.