On a Saturday morning? Sure, one of her advisors told Hotline — this way, she’s in the spotlight for the State of the Union on Tuesday. But then why not announce on Monday, when people are paying attention?

Amateur mistakes. I blame Bill.

Here’s the video. She’s surprisingly non-robotic, although I guess if you can train animals to perform on sitcoms, you can train Hillary to feign warmth for 30 seconds. The passages on health care and dialogue will have you choking on bile. Click the image to watch, and note the foliage through the window. Mark Finkelstein asks a good question.

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Exit question: Is Hillary the best we can hope for among the Democratic nominees? Obama talks bipartisanship but votes a deep, rich blue. Edwards is running on a platform of class warfare. Of Gore let us say no more. Who’s left? Unless Mark Warner jumps in and figures out a way to beat all of them by running to their right, Hillary’s probably the most “conservative” (i.e., nominally hawkish) candidate in the pack. Terrifying.

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Update: Bill Richardson really picked the wrong weekend.

Update: Good point at Time about Bill’s role on the trail:

One of the most interesting things will be watching how her campaign deals with a former President in the role of campaign spouse. If he stands next to her on stage, he overpowers her. If he campaigns alone on her behalf — the traditional “surrogate” role in which many spouses are most effective — it will likely appear that he is running for what is essentially his own third term. And if he stays out of sight? Voters start wondering again just what exactly is the deal with their marriage.

Update: Oh, the bile. The thick, salty bile.

HILLARY CLINTON is to be presented as America’s Margaret Thatcher as she tries to become the first woman to win the White House. As she entered the 2008 presidential race yesterday, a senior adviser said that her campaign would emphasise security, defence and personal strengths reminiscent of the Iron Lady.

“Their policies are totally different but they are both perceived as very tough,” said Terry McAuliffe, Clinton’s campaign chairman. “She is strong on foreign policy. People have got to know you are going to keep them safe.”