Hillary Clinton will be appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight to help Dave celebrate the 14th anniversary of the show. This will be her seventh time on Letterman, but her first since launching her bid for the White House -- so there is certainly more on the line this time out.
Knowing Hillary's commitment to preparation, and her campaign's desire to war-game out every moment from now until November 2008, Team Clinton has probably had half of the Writer's Guild scribbling away all August.
Tonight will be an opportunity for her to highlight Hillary 2.0: relaxed, easy, comfortable in her own skin. One of the biggest knocks against her coming into this race was that she was stiff and uncomfortable. But no longer. Hillary is probably one of the few people who can decide to diligently work to become relaxed -- and succeed.
In her past appearances, Hillary chose to go the self-deprecating route. In her much-watched first appearance on the show, back in January 2000, Clinton, who Letterman had been regularly bashing as a carpet-bagger with no real connection to New York, agreed to a pop quiz of her New York knowledge -- and correctly identified the bluebird as the state bird and the sugar maple as the state tree.
She also offered up a Top Ten List of the reasons she had decided to appear on the show that included: "10. I lost a bet with Tipper," "8. If Dan Quayle did it, how hard can it be?," "6. Four words: lapse of judgment," "2. To tell you the truth, Dave, I thought Johnny hosted this show," and "1. If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere."
Hilary also took the opportunity to take a shot at Rudy Giuliani who, at the time was still mayor, and who had yet to pull out as her Senate opponent. When Letterman asked her about whether she thought Giuliani had the right stuff to be a U.S. Senator, Hillary said, "He's done a lot of stuff as mayor but I think being a senator is a different kind of job. A senator can't go arrest a homeless person."
Almost 8 years later, Hillary and Rudy are once again vying for the same job. Letterman is, fortunately, not nearly as predictable as the campaign press corpse but if he asks Giuliani's qualifications again, Hillary could say: "Rudy is perfectly qualified -- If you like uptight guys who get serially divorced and say '9/11' every five seconds."
And here are some other possible questions and some suggested answers for her to choose from:
Dave: What was the deal with all that cleavage earlier this summer?
Hillary: I think the fact that the front-runner for the nomination of one of our two parties is facing a question about cleavage is a sign of progress... Or: If an American president can't flash a little cleavage, the terrorists win. Or: You mean the Rack of Freedom? Or: Dave, this kind of question is a classic example of the patriarchal double standard faced by women who assume positions of power in America. I'd prefer to focus on the future of this country. On the other hand, I do have a killer rack.
Dave: What was your feud with Barack Obama about?
Hillary: I just had to set him straight about a few things. He'd make a great addition to the ticket, but I had to let him know that the days of the VP running things are coming to an end.
Dave: I thought it was about using nuclear weapons against Pakistan or something.
Hillary: As I said at the time, Dave, a presidential candidate shouldn't discuss foreign policy questions of that nature in a forum like this.
Dave: Where should they be discussed then?
Hillary: At home with Bill Clinton.
Dave: So what should we call your husband if you win?
Hillary: You shouldn't call him at all; he won't be leaving the house.
What kinds of things do you think Hillary will -- or should say -- tonight? Got any suggestions for one-liners, zingers, or a new Hillary Top 10 list? I'd love to hear them. Put your top Hillary lines in the comments section and we'll run the best ones tomorrow -- and compare them with the ones Hillary offers up tonight.
In the meantime, here is a Hillary Top 10 list put together by comedy writer Colleen Worthmann, who has provided some very funny HuffPost blog posts in the past, and whose stuff you'll be able to see more of on 23/6 (236.com), coming soon to a computer screen near you.
Hillary Clinton's Top 10 Rejected Campaign Slogans:
10. John Edwards wishes his hair looked this good
9. You should see my jumpshot
8. Move out of the way, it's Mama's turn
7. Who wants popsicles?
6. Let's face it, anybody would be better than Dubya
5. I'm bringing sexyback
4. Hillary Clinton: like a Democrat, but Republican-ish
3. I survived Whitewater and Monica, this'll be a piece of cake
2. Bill's gonna look great in Oscar de la Renta
1. Five words: Jessica Biel for Vice President
Alright, HuffPosters, what are your best Letterman lines for Hillary?