There are softballs and then there are softballs.
On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory teed one up for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was specifically designed to mock the Republican presidential candidates while allowing her to brag uninterrupted about the foreign policy successes of Barack Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: When you ran for president, you posed a fundamental question to--against your opponent at the time, now President Obama, which is, "Who's going to answer that 3 AM phone call when there's an international crisis?" And as you hear these Republican presidential debates and all the talk about foreign policy, do you think that there's a threshold that they're going to have to pass to, to show a certain amount of competence? And do you think that foreign policy from what you've heard will be a disadvantage for this group of Republican candidates for president?
Sheesh. He even asked that with a smile on his face as if he knew he was throwing one of the the biggest, slowest softballs ever lobbed to a politician on national television.
Gregory was likely pleased with his guest's answer:
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin by saying that President Obama has passed with flying colors every leadership challenge. I mean, look at what he has done. I mean, just to name a few things, I mean, you know, we were looking for bin Laden for, you know, 10 years. It was under President Obama's leadership that he was finally eliminated. Libya, with the kind of smart leadership that the president showed demonstrating that American leadership was essential, but it was important to try to bring others also into a coalition of efforts, and the objective was achieved. Keeping the promise to withdraw from Iraq, but not leave Iraq, by having a robust security and training mission accompanied by a very large diplomatic presence. I could go on and on. I think this president has demonstrated that in a still very dangerous world it's important to have someone at the helm of our country who understands how to manage what is an incredibly complex world now. Yes, we have a lot of threats, but we also have opportunities. And I think President Obama has grasped that and has performed extraordinarily well. So I don't know what the other side will do. I'm out of politics, as you know, David, I don't comment on it. But I think Americans are going to want to know that they have a steady, experienced, smart hand on the tiller of the ship of state, and there's no doubt that that's Barack Obama.
MR. GREGORY: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much.
SEC. CLINTON: Thank you.
Thank you indeed!