PHILADELPHIA -- US Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton walked somberly into a press conference Tuesday and stood before microphones. Reporters tensed, sensing something big might be afoot.
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., smiles after playing an April Fool's Day joke on reporters, stating that she is willing to challenge fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., to a game of bowling, Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at the start of a news conference in Philadelphia. [Agencies]
"This has been a very hard fought race," she said. "We clearly need to do something so that our party and our people can make the right decision. So, I have a proposal."
The tension grew. Reporters shifted in their seats. Was she dropping out of the race? Offering to join rival Barack Obama as his running mate?
"Today, I am challenging Senator Obama to a bowl-off," Clinton said, provoking relieved laughs from the assembled scribes.
Clinton carried on, making reference to Obama's disastrous outing at a Pennsylvania bowling alley Saturday.
"A bowling night. Right here in Pennsylvania. The winner take all," she went on. "I'll even spot him two frames."
"It is time for his campaign to get out of the gutter and allow all the pins to be counted. I'm prepared to play this game all the way to the tenth frame. When this game is over, the American people will know that when that phone rings at 3 a.m., they'll have a president ready to bowl on day one."
"Let's strike a deal and go bowling for delegates. We don't have a moment to spare, because it's already April Fool's Day. Happy April Fool's Day."