Campaign Stories Yule Love

hillary clinton george w. bush
'Tis the season for the nation's political heavies to break out the heavy imagery.

On the campaign trail Thursday, GOP presidential front-runner George W. Bush was reading a Christmas fable to schoolchildren, while first lady and New York Senate hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Gotham City talking cookies with daytime talk-queen Rosie O'Donnell.

In Nashville, Bush the younger, was winging "The Night Before Christmas" from memory before a gaggle of schoolchildren.

But when the Texas governor got to "the children were nestled," he had to get out his reading glasses to make sure he did not stray from the oft-read classic.

In the process, he made a self-deprecating quip about his need for glasses.

"Sometimes, we get older, it's hard to read," he said.

The children of Una Elementary, sitting cross-legged on the floor of their library, didn't seem to mind.

In New York, Clinton taped an appearance on Rosie O'Donnell's talk show Thursday. But rather than involve herself in the recent row between O'Donnell and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani over treatment of the homeless, the first lady said the chat was about Christmas cookies.

"I brought some of the cookies that we're passing out at the White House: gingerbread cookies in the shape of all different kinds of Christmas decorations," said Clinton as she emerged from NBC's studios at Rockefeller Center, where the talk show is taped.

One cookie was shaped like the White House.

The segment is scheduled to air Dec. 23.

Asked if she and O'Donnell had talked about politics, Clinton said, "No. Not at all. We talked about Christmas."

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