Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Los Angeles Former U.S. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno returned to the realm of late-night television on Tuesday, telling NBC's "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno how her mother built her rustic Miami home from the ground up.
"I hope all you wives are listening," Leno replied, sparking laughter.
In 10 minutes of banter about her upbringing, her campaign for governor of Florida and her former employer ï¿½ President Clinton ï¿½ Reno brought the studio audience in Burbank, Calif., to its feet. Leno was quick, and so was Reno.
When Leno queried Reno about the difference between Washington and Hollywood, the longest-serving attorney general of the 20th century replied: "If you have a congressional committee as opposed to Jay Leno, I'll take Jay Leno."
Reno, closing a three-day California tour for campaign fund-raising, followed actress Jodie Foster in Tuesday night's lineup.
Reno, whose father was a longtime police reporter, was asked why her mother built the house. "Because The Miami Herald didn't pay my father enough," she said.
Reno, who served Clinton for eight years, was asked about other politicians distancing themselves from the former president because of his personal scandal with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
"I'm not," she said. "I thought he was one of the most intelligent people I ever met. He made a mistake."
Asked about all the jokes and cartoons her campaign has inspired, Reno said she is collecting them, such as "Janet Reno kayaking the wrong way down the river."
Leno broached the subject of Reno's public fainting.
"I have one regret, Jay," said Reno, alluding to her Jan. 30 spell at a college campus with a plug for the network that hosted this and her previous late-night television stint. "That I didn't jump up in the middle of it and say, 'It's Saturday Night Live."'