Down in New Hampshire, down nine in Iowa, knowing that the only thing that stands between her and total ignominious destruction is Silky staying in the race to pull from Obama, Her Majesty demonstrates her new commitment to clean campaigning: Merely suggesting how much dirt she’s compiled on the Messiah rather than actually tossing it out there and letting the media scrum. Suddenly that Bob Novak column from a few weeks ago seems prescient.

Remember the end of King Kong, where the planes are attacking as they should and must — and through it all, you can’t help pitying the great beast laid low by his own hubris?

Yeah, this is nothing like that.

Hillary just held an extraordinary press conference here after taping an interview with Iowa public television in which she introduced a provocative new theme to her candidacy: “[T]here are no surprises.” I didn’t catch the taping itself, only the presser, but Ben Smith has the money quote:

“I’ve been tested, I’ve been vetted,” she said. “There are no surprises. There’s not going to be anybody saying, ‘I didn’t think of that, my goodness, what’s that going to mean?'”

“I’m a known quantity,” she added at the press conference, at which she recieved the endorsement of Iowa Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell. “We need to nominate a candidate who can win.” This threw the media into a low-grade frenzy. Hillary smiled with the patience of a grandmother stuck babysitting bratty kids as reporters barraged her with breathless questions about whether Obama’s drug history is the sort of surprise she’s talking about and whether she thinks general-election voters might punish him for it.

But Hillary wasn’t biting. “I am only talking about myself,” she insisted, looking unusually resplendent in a dark suit with a red blouse and multicolored necklace. Nor would she bite when asked by MSNBC’s David Shuster whether she would flatly declare that “a candidate’s indescretions as a teenager should not be an issue for voters.” After what I sensed was a moment of uncertainty she concluded, “It’s certainly not an issue in my campaign.”

Thus is the sincerity of yesterday’s apology laid bare. Kudos, though, to whichever reporter asked her if she ever did drugs in college. Exit question one: Anyone really believe there are “no surprises” left to discover in Hillary’s past? And exit question two: Can it be true? Could western voters really dislike Our Hillary?