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Hillary's (non) Top Ten

August 30, 2007 |  4:43 am

Hillary Clinton makes her seventh appearance this evening on the "Late Show with David Letterman," a remarkable tally for a politician not known to revel in unscripted moments (she makes a point, for instance, of steering clear of the Sunday morning chat-show circuit).

Clinton first took a seat next to Letterman back in January 2000; she was still first lady (and as such had been the grist for innumerable jokes on late night television). But she also was gearing up for her precedent-setting run for the Senate from New York. And her decision to drop by the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan proved mutually beneficial --- it was part of Clinton's remaking of her image and it rewarded Letterman with his highest rating in many a moon.

A BBC News story from the time noted that polls showed Clinton trailing her expected GOP opponent in the November race: then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. That face-off never materialized. Giuliani abandoned his candidacy after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Clinton crushed the hapless Republican who filled in for him.

The question now looming: did that turn of events simply postpone the inevitable?

Anticipating Clinton's guest turn tonight, some of the folks at ABC's political unit --- Teddy Davis, Karen Travers, Tahman Bradley and Leigh Hartman --- put together their best guesses on the top 10 things Clinton won't say on Letterman. And it is too well done not to simply repeat (with each item linked to an explainer, if needed, that also were supplied by the witty ABC quartet):

10. “If the Hsu fits, tap it.”

9. "If you can't run your own house, run for the White House."

8. "I think it reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton."

7. "I have said publicly no option should be off the table, but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table."

6. "To know me is to love me."

5. "I've got a crush on Obama."

4. "Lobbyists? They have feelings, too, Dave.

3. "That vote on Iraq? Whoops."

2. "Let me tell you how I would get to universal coverage."

1. "When it comes to health care, I have a wide stance, Dave, and I have the scars to show for it."

We love each and every one, but for a couple of reasons, No. 10 is our fav rav. Feel free to let us know yours.

Letterman, by the way, is providing his viewers a classic opportunity to compare the comedic skills of Hillary Clinton with that fellow who would be first gent (or is that first laddie?). Bill Clinton is booked for the Sept. 4 show.

-- Don Frederick