WASHINGTON—Live! From New York! It’s Barack Obama making a surprise visit to open NBC’s Saturday Night Live. LINK
Democratic presidential hopeful Obama played himself in a sketch where he one-upped a cast member playing chief rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, working in a campaign theme along the way—that he has nothing to hide and the calculating Clinton does.
Obama’s trip to New York was not on his schedule and had been kept under wraps. He flew in Saturday for a rehearsal after campaigning in Spartanburg, South Carolina. During a speech he slammed Clinton for running a skilled "textbook" campaign--with the textbook flawed.
"As we saw in the debate last week, it encourages vague, calculated answers to suit the politics of the moment, instead of clear consistent principles about how you would lead America," Obama said in the speech
The five minute, 17-second skit Obama was in started with SNL cast members playing Hillary and Bill hosting a Halloween party at their home in Chappaqua, NY., a get together with the Democratic presidential field to unwind after last Tuesday's debate.
The Clinton character is wearing a bride’s costume with the joke like this: various cast members are playing other Democratic contenders—John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd. Edwards compliments her on her “witch” costume and so does the Dodd player.
Then along comes a tall, slim, man in a big Barack Obama mask. He takes it off and…it’s Obama.
"So you dressed as yourself" asks "Clinton."
“Well you know Hillary, I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself,” Obama said. "I'm not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween."
Those lines were fraught with heavy political subtext, given the shot Obama hit Clinton with day about being calculating.
"And may I say you make a lovely bride?' says Obama
"Bill" can't help himself. "She's a witch!" prompting "Hillary" to complain.
Obama then delivers the traditional high spirited SNL greeting. "I just wanted to let the American people know Live! From New York! It's Saturday Night!"—taking the line expected to be delivered by guest host Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC Nightly News.
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the appearance “has been on the books for awhile" and that the campaign did have input into the script.
On Sunday, Obama headlines fund-raisers in Boca Raton, Florida and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.