POLITICS
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

David Gregory Does Battle With Talking-Point Dispensing Robot

Earlier this morning, the Hillary Clinton campaign decided that they'd save a little money and use today's morning news shows to mount a lengthy campaign commercial, chock-a-block with all the new focus-tested sentences that have been the centerpiece of her campaign ever since its "Well, Okay, Then, We're About 'Change' Now, Too" Reboot. It was a perfect plan.

Unfortunately, this required her to confront the Today Show's David Gregory, who inconveniently decided to start "asking questions", and "holding" her campaign "accountable" to statements they had made.

GREGORY: So, Senator, if people look at the last six weeks and they might question how Hillary Clinton responds to a crisis or how she handles pressure and they might point to the fact that you complained about the all boys network of presidential politics in the wake of the Philadelphia debate, they would see your husband complaining about media coverage of you, they'd see your campaign raise the past drug issue and use by Barack Obama or questioned him for his ambition, and they might say, well, this is really what we don't like about politics. Is that fair?

CLINTON: Well, i don't think that's at all an accurate representation of my campaign. You know, campaigns are like life. You know, some days are perfect. Some days aren't. But what really matters is where you're headed, what you do when you suffer some kind of, you know, problem, how you put yourself back on track and, you know, I've been doing this a long time.

GREGORY: I'm sorry. You said that was unfair. You dispute those were how you handled things in the wake of hitting that rough patch?

CLINTON: I'm going to let voters decide that, not the press. I'm going to let voters make up their minds. what I see happening here and across the country is voters are responding very positively to my campaign. I'm a proven leader. That's what The Des Moines Register said, what a lot of my supporters say.

Right! Silly David Gregory! As they say: Post Des Moines Register, ergo propter Des Moines Register! Still, Gregory pressed on something one of Clinton's "supporters" has said.

GREGORY: Let's talk about a key issue you raise on the campaign trail, that's your experience. It was your husband, the former president, that said Barack Obama as president would be "rolling the dice" with america's future. Assuming you agree with that, let's be clear. an Obama presidency is a risk to what? America's national security, America's economic health? What precisely?

CLINTON: Well, i would ask people to read the Des Moines Register editorial. Basically what they said is we need a proven leader. We have tough times.

GREGORY: What does it mean? We know what The Register said.

CLINTON: I think that's one of the principal cases for my candidacy. If you want to know what changes I'll make, look at the changes I've already made. Everybody talks about change. Everybody talks about change in this campaign. Some people think you get change by demanding it. Some think you get it by hoping for it. I think you get it by doing really hard work. That's what I've done.

GREGORY: Senator Clinton, you're not answering the question. Your husband said it would be "rolling the dice" for America's future if he were elected. What's the risk to America if Barack Obama is the president?

CLINTON: [Pause] You know, he not only said that, but the Des Moines Register editorial implied that.

Wow! It's a good thing the Des Moines Register didn't come out in favor of Clinton jumping into the Dale Maffit Reservoir!

Anyway, Gregory, growing tired of this battle of wits, attempted to shift the discussion. But Hillary hadn't yet finished dispensing platitudes.

GREGORY: So you're choosing not to answer that question. let me ask you another issue --

CLINTON: No, I'm -- no, wait a minute. I'm making the case for my candidacy. I'm very happy that I have -- I have strong supporters and I have editorial support. Well, you know, I think that voters will have to judge us, and that's what I welcome. I invite people to do that.

Right. Scrutiny is welcome, so long as it leads to an endorsement. Otherwise: DOES NOT COMPUTE!

(Watch the video.)