Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed her traveling press corps aboard her campaign plane Wednesday with a humorous riff on the standard flight attendant speech familiar to commercial air travelers.
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard the maiden flight of Hill Force One,” Clinton said over the plane’s intercom as it taxied down the runway en route to Reno, Nev.
Nevada holds precinct caucuses Saturday; polls show Clinton in a tight three-way contest here with Barack Obama and John Edwards.
‘Things can get awfully bumpy’
“My name is Hillary and I am so pleased to have most of you on board,” she said. “FAA regulations prohibit the use of any cell phones, Blackberries or wireless devices that may be used to transmit a negative story about me.
“In a few minutes, I am going to switch off the ‘Fasten Your Seat Belt’ sign. However, I’ve learned lately that things can get awfully bumpy when you least expect it — so you might want to keep those seat belts fastened.
“And in the event of an unexpected drop in poll numbers, this plane will be diverted to New Hampshire.
“If you look out from the right, you will see an America saddled with tax cuts for the wealthiest and a war without end. If you look out from the left, you will see an America with a strong middle class at home and a strong reputation in the world.
“Once we’ve reached cruising altitude, we’ll be offering in-flight entertainment: my stump speech.
“Once again, thank you for joining us on Hill Force One. We know you have choices when you fly, and so we are grateful that you chose the plane with the most experienced candidate.”