Chelsea Handler gets political

Chelsea Handler gets really political
Chelsea Handler gets really political

Chelsea Handler doesn't want to party with Hillary Clinton. She wants Clinton to be her -- and America's -- next Commander in Chief.

"I'm voting for Hillary Clinton, but everyone who's like 'there's not enough enthusiasm,' we're adults," she told CNNMoney at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit last week in Laguna, California. "This isn't like, oh, I get to get my favorite color to color with!"

The comedian dismisses concerns over an enthusiasm gap for Clinton. "I understand that Hillary Clinton isn't everybody's favorite candidate, but for me, she's qualified for the job, more qualified than anybody else, and I'm willing to forgive all the other shortcomings."

Handler has, in the past, argued Clinton may not be the most charming person in the world -- but this isn't about who you want to hang out with.

"Hillary Clinton is vilified no matter what she does. If she doesn't smile, then she gets attacked...Can you imagine a woman ever saying to Barack Obama, 'Hey! Wipe that frown upside down!' That's just not the way the world works."

Asked why Clinton is struggling to excite some young female voters, Handler responded: "Because she's not a warm, fuzzy la-la-la-la, but you know what? She is like that in person. She's just not like that in public. She's guarded, and after everything that she has been through publicly, I would be guarded, too."

And what about Donald Trump and the election on the whole? "It's embarrassing on so many levels. I think, in the history of the United States and the buoying of a man that represents such divisiveness and such on every kind of tenet that America is supposed to stand against."

Handler isn't just voting against Donald Trump -- she says she would refuse to have him as a guest on her Netflix show "Chelsea" if offered the chance.

"That's so irresponsible," Handler argued, pushing back against the notion that it would be an opportunity to press the Republican presidential candidate on any issue. "He has no answers to anything. That's a ratings ploy, and I'm not interested. I can get other people to come on my show that are much more, I think, responsible."

Chelsea Handler: 'I know what I want and I've asked for it'
Chelsea Handler: 'I know what I want and I've asked for it'

Asked if Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon deserved the criticism launched at him following his lighthearted interview with Trump -- where he played with the candidate's hair -- Handler responded, "Jimmy Fallon can do whatever he wants. For me, personally, all I can say is I find that to be irresponsible. I'm not going to have Donald Trump on my show. This part of my career and being on Netflix is something that I'm proud of and that I want to do. You can still have fun and send a great message. I want to empower people."

That's why Handler has made what the New York Times recently described as a "pivot" of her own this election cycle -- using her Netflix show (renewed for a second season) as a springboard for political conversations -- hosting lawmakers including Senator Barbara Boxer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and former Mexican president Vincente Fox.

She's not done with laughs -- or self-deprecating jokes -- but her departure from E! and the launch of her Neflix show has brought to the fore a more serious Chelsea Handler with a clear sense of responsibility.

"I already had a silly show for seven years on another network where I acted like a complete ass. I'm done with that." But -- she still wants you to laugh. "We're still silly and stupid on my show, but it's a much different message, and I take it seriously because I'm 41. I'm not 30 anymore acting like an idiot."


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