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Opinion: Hillary Clinton, live, on Saturday Night Live

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Apparently it pays for a presidential candidate to inject ‘Saturday Night Live’ into a serious political dialogue, as Hillary Clinton did during her most recent debate with Barack Obama.

Clinton’s gambit may have struck some of those critiquing the debate as woeful, but SNL opened its latest show with another skit depicting Obama as the media’s darling --- and her as its victim. More to the point, the coda to the sketch was an ‘Editorial Response’ -- delivered by the candidate herself.

Clinton exchanged a few quips with her SNL portrayer, Amy Poehler. The pair were dressed precisely alike; cracked Clinton, “I love your outfit. I do want the earrings back.”

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Then, Clinton got to deliver the program’s signature line: ‘Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night.’

Not a bad burst of free air time as the crucial Ohio and Texas primaries approach. Indeed, while ...

the Clinton camp continues to press its case that Obama has benefited from kid-glove press treatment (the New York Times examined the question in a Saturday piece), he and his aides might be wondering about now if SNL is in the tank for her.

The show’s writers could hardly be blamed for such a tilt; the first Clinton presidency kept handing them material they could never have conjured up themselves.

Taking second billing to Clinton -- appropriately, given how his presidential campaign ended up -- was Rudy Giuliani. He appeared during the ‘Weekend Update’ segment, trading a few jokes with ‘anchor’ Seth Meyers (after first getting to plug John McCain, who he quickly endorsed after unplugging his own candidacy, as ‘an exceptional man’).

Giuliani’s best line? Comparing his White House quest to a SNL skit: ‘It started strong, but you really don’t have an ending.’

Clinton will try one more pre-primary comedy gig Monday on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” -- Don Frederick

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Photo from NBC

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