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'Live from New York, it's -- Hillary'

From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
NEW YORK -- A week after a "Saturday Night Live" skit poked fun at a perceived media bias in favor a certain senator from Illinois, Hillary Clinton appeared on the popular NBC comedy show.

The show began with a sketch on the recent MSNBC debate in Cleveland, in which the actors poked fun at Clinton's focus on health care, and the New York senator's character, played by Amy Poehler, took issue with questions to Barack Obama that she felt were softballs, while she was subjected to the third degree.

Clinton then came on afterwards to give an "Editorial Response."

"The scene you just saw was a reenactment, sort of, of last Tuesday's debate and not an endorsement of one candidate over another. I can say this confidently, because when I asked if I could take it as an endorsement, I was told 'Absolutely not.' But I still enjoyed that sketch a great deal, because I simply adore Amy's impression of me," she said, before being interrupted by Poehler, who was dressed in an identical brown suit and mocked her laugh.

Poehler asked the former first lady how the campaign was going. "Oh, the campaign is going very well, very, very well. Why? What have you heard?" Clinton said. "Nevermind, I am just so happy to be back in New York, even for a few hours. Tonight, I just want to relax, have fun, not worry about the campaign."

Poehler then asked, "So no politics?"

"No politics," the senator responded. "But I would like to take this opportunity to say to all Americans, be they from the great state of Ohio or Texas, from Rhode Island or Vermont, Pennsylvania or any of the other states, live from New York it is Saturday night!"

The candidate's comedic turn Saturday night comes just days before crucial primary tests in four states. Many observers, including former President Bill Clinton believe the New York senator must win both Ohio and Texas to stay in the race.  

When Clinton did not appear on the plane earlier in the day to fly from Texas to Ohio with the press, reporters were given no hints as to her actual whereabouts and only found out hours later. The appearance was part of a string of attempts to burnish her pop culture credentials and show the lighter side of a person often described as wonky. The senator plans to appear on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" Monday via satellite and was on "The Late Show with David Letterman" earlier this week.

While people who know Clinton describe her as warm and funny, she has sometimes had problems communicating her softer side to voters. Late in her campaign in Iowa, she launched the "Hillary I know" tour with friends and constituents traveling the state sharing stories about her. Her misty-eyed moment before the New Hampshire primary, moreover, was credited with helping her appeal to women voters and contributing to her surprise victory there.

Incidentally, there was another SNL sketch after the commercial break -- a cartoon that poked fun at Obama's relationship with black activists, the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. However, contrary to what the skit suggested, Sharpton hasn't endorsed Obama, and Jackson's support for the Illinois senator has been lukewarm.