Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is all over the news this morning for her sparring match with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during a Senate hearing Thursday. Google News lists more than 1,300 links to the story this morning.
Why so much attention? It was good TV.
Senators are given a specific amount of time for questions during hearings. Most use up all their time delivering a speech on their view of one specific part of the issue.
Reporters (speaking from exerience here) have to force themselves to stay awake listening for a canned soudbite -- usually read verbatim from his prepared statement.
Definitely not memorable stuff.
Sen Clinton actually used her question time for -- egads! -- questions.
Hill Press Secretaries should ask themselves why talk shows are so popular among political junkies and then ask themselves why they don't try to imitate them more often.
Sen Clinton framed her message as questions and fired them off at the Secretary. It plays well for television, keeps reporters awake, and steals the show -- because it's all show, no speeches.