When Sen. Hillary Clinton arrived a few minutes early to the press conference she was holding with Sen. Mary Landrieu and Sen. Ken Salazar to discuss Homeland Security and Hurricane Katrina, Clinton didn’t hesitate to make nice with the media.
Before approaching the podium a reporter and a photographer both went out of their way to say hello and wish the senator well.
While waiting, Clinton joked that instead she had scheduled the press conference to make sure everyone had done their “Valentine’s Day Duty.” A reporter asked if she preferred flowers or chocolates and the Clinton scoffed these small tokens and advised reporters instead to ask for jewelry. “Think big,” she said.
The number of photographers snapping up prime pictures of the senator rivaled the number of reporters in the room. Clinton asked them, "Don’t you have enough of these?"
After the press conference I sought Clinton get her reaction to the “drudged” story yesterday about her Republican senatorial opponent John Spencer.
I caught her coming out of the Radio and TV Gallery and said, "I’d like to ask you about what your likely opponent Mr. Spencer said. Yesterday he accused you of aiding and abetting enemies and he called your fundraising arm the ‘International Bank of Clinton.’ Any reaction to that?”
Very firmly she said, “No.” Then an aide quickly stepped in to tell me “Our campaign’s responding to that.”
“Yeah,” Clinton chimed, “You’ll have to talk to them.”
Clinton’s tight-lippedness is well-known on to Capitol Hill reporters. As the senator made her way down the stairway another reporter came up behind me and chuckled, “Hey, it was worth a try. Good question.”
I laughed and nodded. So, far of all the questions I’ve asked Sen. Clinton, I have yet to get a “real” response that goes beyond, “I don’t know” “I can’t answer that” or simple refusal to answer the question.
This fall our Online News Producer, Ivy Sellers, asked Clinton what her favorite book was and even that proved too difficult, or too controversial, for the former First Lady to answer.
But Human Events will keep asking. I’ll keep the tally going. Stay tuned …