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From the Throng, Chris Matthews Tries to Book Clinton

By Peter Baker
NASHUA, N.H. -- At least he didn't shove a campaign aide, as his cable colleague Bill O'Reilly did at a Barack Obama rally over the weekend. But MSNBC's Chris Matthews managed to mix it up a bit with Hillary Rodham Clinton today nonetheless.

Matthews was among the myriad media celebrities on hand for Clinton's jam packed high school gymnasium speech here (along with Tim Russert, Morton Kondracke, Juan Williams, etc.) and used the opportunity to prowl the rope line and finally get a question to the New York senator.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters after the speech, Matthews asked Clinton how her plan to get out of Iraq is different from Obama's. She started describing her plan. He interrupted to insist she distinguish it from her rival's. Here's how it went from there:

"Well, you guys can figure out the difference," she said.

"No," Matthews interrupted, "you tell us the difference."

"I'm not on your show," she retorted. "I'm trying to answer the question."

"Please come on the show," Matthews implored.

"I never understood why you're obsessed with me," she replied. "Honestly, I've never understood it."

After the session was over, Clinton headed straight for Matthews and greeted him with a big, friendly smile, patted his cheek reassuringly and gave him a hug. She did not, so far could be heard, book a date on the show.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 6, 2008; 7:36 PM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton , Primaries , The Democrats  
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