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Hillary: One on One

by Tracy Barry

Bio | Email | Follow: @tracybarrynews

Posted on May 9, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 18 at 2:57 PM

I'm sure you've heard of "speed dating," today I learned the art of "speed interviewing."

When the presidential candidates swing through town we are occasionally granted a few minutes to ask them questions one on one. While the interviews rarely break much new ground, they are a chance to focus on some local issues. But only if you are fast! I mean how many topics can you cover in three minutes?

I thought you might get a kick out of just how long it takes to get 180 seconds on tape. We were told to check in by 8 this morning. That gives the secret service time to sweep our gear and us for security reasons.

Once in place we waited in an outdoor courtyard for several hours on this brisk morning (no I didn't wear a coat, someone we know said it was going to be 65 degrees today!) for Senator Clinton to arrive. Now, I know this part will shock you, but the campaign was running late!

She arrived at 10:30 instead of 9:30 and participated in a roundtable discussion about the need for health care. (No, there wasn't really a round table. There never is.)

A little after 11 we were ushered into a small room where we set up our camera and waited some more. I didn't mind since it was heated and it felt good when the feeling slowly returned to my toes.

Then after several false alarms Senator Clinton arrived in"our room." There was another room next door with a different crew set up for an interview. Because she was running late, our original 5 minute interview slot was chopped to 3! So it averaged out to about an hour of waiting for each minute of interviewing.

What can you cover in three minutes? You'd be surprised; this is after all an accomplished politician. We hit on Oregon issues, the Governor's endorsement, and a debate with Barack Obama, if she is thinking about quitting the race, and what it has meant to be the first woman with a real shot at the nomination. To be perfectly honest, I squeezed in that last question after my time was up, extending the interview to four minutes. My daughter Ali wanted me to ask her that and face it; I am a mother first and didn't want to disappoint her. Luckily, it would seem that Senator Clinton is a mother first too since no one cut me off and she gave a very emotional response.

For all of you who want to know more personal things about her, there is just not much I can gather in 4 minutes people! But here are a few first impressions. She is beautiful. I don't know what she is doing but I wish she could bottle it for the rest of us. She is seriously smart. I don't know why I can't seem to remember a thing these days and she can rattle off facts and figures and anything else you ask with ease. She laughs easily and has an incredible amount of focus and energy. Meeting her was a moment I will remember and tell my daughters about.

Win or lose it is an historic race. Any woman that follows will be standing on her shoulders.

You can check out the interview tonight on KGW Newschannel 8 and online anytime at Obviously it will only take you a few minutes.

And as always, thanks for watching.

Tracy Barry