Opinion: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton duel (briefly) on late-night television


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Hillary Clinton takes center stage on ABC’s ‘Nightline’ tonight (more on that later).

What’s Barack Obama to do?

Go head-to-head with her (at least for a few seconds) by personally offering a Top Ten list of surprising facts about himself on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ on CBS.

The Obama campaign kindly released the list -- apparently willing to risk that readers of this blog and others now can tune in exclusively to Clinton ... or perhaps suspecting that true political junkies will be stiffing both shows for ‘The Colbert Report’ on Comedy Central (at least in those markets where all three programs conflict).


Anyway, here’s what Obama reveals about himself:

10. My first act as president will be to stop the fighting between Lauren and Heidi on ‘The Hills.’

9. In the Illinois primary, I accidentally voted for Kucinich.

8. When I tell my kids to clean their room, I finish with, ‘I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message.’

7. Throughout high school, I was consistently voted ‘Barackiest.’

6. Earlier today I bowled a 39.

5. I have canceled all my appearances the day the ‘Sex and the City’ movie opens.

4. It’s the birthplace of Fred Astaire. (Sorry, that’s a surprising fact about Omaha)

3. We are tirelessly working to get the endorsement of Kentucky Derby favorite Colonel John.

2. This has nothing to do with the Top Ten, but what the heck is up with Paula Abdul?

1. I have not slept since October.

He certainly may be sleep-deprived since Monday morning, when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright let loose at the National Press Club.

As for Clinton’s interview on Nightline, she does not back down from her comment last week that, as president, her administration would ‘totally obliterate’ Iran if it used nuclear weapons against Israel. That remark prompted some criticism in the U.S. and, this week, was blasted by Iran as ‘provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible.’


The Iranian response proved the perfect setup for Clinton.

‘Well, that’s kind of strange coming from a provocative, irresponsible regime, as we have currently in Iran,’ she said.

And she reiterated to Iranian leaders that ‘were they ever to be so reckless as to launch an attack against Israel or a nuclear attack against any of our friends and allies, they would face massive retaliation.’

So, to sum up, while Obama cracks wise, Clinton talks tough.

-- Don Frederick