It Turns Out There Was No ’3 a.m. Phone Call’ After All

Apr 5, 2009 12:12pm

President Obama first heard about North Korea’s missile launch from press secretary Robert Gibbs, who woke up his boss to give him the news — the first time in Mr. Obama’s young presidency that such a thing has happened.

It turns out there wasn’t a "3 am phone call" as was discussed during the campaign — Gibbs knocked on the door of President Obama’s suite at the Prague Hilton, soon after 4:30 a.m. local time, almost immediately after the North Korean missile launch had been confirmed.

Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton’s "3 am phone call" TV ad seems like a long time ago, but it was just over a year ago, and the ad was credited with helping Clinton regain momentum by amplifying doubts Democratic primary voters had about then-Sen. Obama’s preparedness for the office. The ad ran shortly before Clinton won handily in Ohio while winning the primary (though not the caucus) in Texas.

Here’s the ad:

And here was then-Sen. Obama’s response ad, suggesting in no small way that he has much better judgment on matters of international affairs than the woman he eventually chose to be Secretary of State.

As long as we’re taking this stroll down memory lane, the young girl in the Clinton ad, Casey Knowles, appeared in an Obama ad deriding Clinton’s tactics:

Anyway, now we know: it’s actually a 4:30 am knock at the door.

Doesn’t have quite the same ring.

- jpt

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