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The Clintons request the pleasure of your company -- at a price

September 6, 2007 |  2:18 pm

Table for four, please, courtesy of the Clintons.

In an e-mail Bill Clinton sent today to backers of his wife's presidential bid, he tells of a special engagement that's in the works.  A supporter, who can bring a guest, soon will be picked to have lunch with Hillary Clinton.  And Bill has invited himself along.

"I hear you might be having lunch with Hillary -- do you mind if I drop in?" the former president asks in his message.

An offer that can't be refused, truly.

There's a hook, of course.  To be part of the pool of contestants for the occasion, you've got to contribute to Hillary's campaign by midnight Friday (underscoring the old saw about there being no free lunches).

We noticed over the weekend, as Clinton joined his wife on the campaign trail, that he's holding his own in adopting his version of the adoring gaze that Nancy Reagan set as the standard for spouses sitting on a podium, listening to their mate troll for votes.  And in today's invite, he also lays it on pretty thick.

"I've met some of the greatest people of our time from every walk of life," he writes.  "But of all the people I have ever shared a table with, I still learn the most when I sit down to a meal with Hillary. There's no one smarter, no one better informed, and no one whose conversation I enjoy more."

That might make it a bit intimidating to break bread with the couple, but we're guessing they'll get lots of takers.

The fundraising gambit featuring the pair coincides with a column by the Washington Post's David Broder, one of the deans of political journalism, that offers his reflections on the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race. It concludes:

"But one thing is absolutely clear.  Her marriage is the central fact in her life, and this partnership of Bill and Hillary Clinton is indissoluble.  She cannot function without him, and he would not have been president without her.  If she becomes president, he will play as central a role in her presidency as she did in his.  And that is something the country will have to ponder."

For better or worse, as it were.

-- Don Frederick

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