Stoking the already rampant speculation that she's feeling out the terrain for a 2016 White House bid, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night returned to the late-night circuit, making an unannounced cameo on the "Colbert Report" to defend her memoir "Hard Choices" from playful criticism.
"I just don't buy any of this," complained host Stephen Colbert, summarizing the former secretary of state's account of interactions with everyone from Tanzania's prime minister to Bono. "There is no way on Earth one woman can be in so many places at once."
Suggesting that indeed she can be, Clinton emerged from backstage to mock surprise from Colbert and a thrilled audience chanting "Hillary, Hillary." "You two-timers," Colbert joked, pointing out that just moments earlier they were chanting his name.
When Clinton returned the "name-drop" criticism, Colbert engaged the early Democratic presidential frontrunner in a game of one-upsmanship. He ribbed that his "good friend Tom Hanks" has never called him a name-dropper "when we're hanging out at George Clooney's place."
"I love George," Clinton quipped. "I wish he could have joined us when I had lunch with Meryl Streep and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa."
Following a series of back-and-forths invoking stars like Oprah and world leaders like Hamid Karzai, Colbert delivered his final blow: "I will have you know, madame, I once did an entire show with President Bill Clinton." But his adversary emerged victorious, breaking the news that she, too, has in fact met her husband.
Wondering why Clinton doesn't address in her book the "real" hard choices, Colbert questioned whether she'd prefer to fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses.
"First I'd try to find common ground between ducks and horses - for instance, they both grew up on Old McDonald's farm," Clinton retorted in the clearly rehearsed bit. "Then, I'd establish a timetable to achieve meaningful horse-duck dialogue.
"And Stephen, I'm convinced, with patience and a strong commitment from our allies, the pigs and the geese," she concluded, "we'd have peace-peace here, peace-peace there, here a peace, there a peace, everywhere a peace-peace."
It was the second time in a month Clinton hammed it up for the late-night crowd. Three weeks ago she appeared on the "Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, joking that she'd enjoy an office with "fewer corners."