For months, New Yorkers have challenged Hillary Rodham Clinton to demonstrate her Empire State IQ. ''What's the state bird?'' ''What's in an egg cream?'' ''How do you spell Chappaqua?'' Now, candidate Clinton has turned the tables, urging voters to prove their skill at Hillary esoterica.
Yes, it's time for the official Hillary Quiz, one of the centerpieces of the first lady's newly renovated Web site, www.Hillary2000.org, which should not be confused with www.Hillary2000.com (the anti-Hillary Web site) or www.Hillary200.org (the parody of the Hillary Web site).
A cross between ''Tiger Beat'' and ''Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,'' the 23-question, multiple-choice quiz ranges from the benign to the benign, with an occasional toughie thrown in to stump even veteran Hillary-watchers. Some samples:
What are the names of Hillary's parents? (Hugh and Dorothy, though it's tempting to go for Ted and Alice.)
Who did Hillary meet as a youth who profoundly influenced her life? (Martin Luther King Jr., though any of the other choices -- Cesar Chavez, Robert F. Kennedy or Rosa Parks -- might have been as life-defining as Bill Clinton's JFK handshake.)
What did Bill and Hill do on their first date? (They visited the Yale Sculpture Garden.)
Name Hillary's favorite spicy food. (Salsa. You were expecting something trickier from a quiz that stops just short of asking her favorite color?)
Has Hillary gone soft? ''It's just a fun way to communicate information about Hillary that people don't know,'' says campaign spokeswoman Karen Finney.
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, by contrast, is still running with the old RudyYes.com site (not to be confused with www.YesRudy.com, the anti-Rudy Web site). The official Rudy site is filled with lots of photos of Rudy in a Yankees cap and Rudy on a Yankees license plate, but, so far at least, no Rudy quiz. It may be just a matter of time. Giuliani campaign spokeswoman Kim Serafin says the site is due for a makeover within the next month.
Of course, this isn't to suggest either side is abandoning policy for puffery; there's still all the obligatory talk about issues -- crime, education, kids and taxes. But if anything stands out in this age of information overload, it's not the warm-and-fuzzies, but the wild-and-crazies. Which brings us back to the Hillary Quiz and beyond.
After you've tallied your Hillary Quotient, the first lady invites you to click on the ''Donate'' icon, not for the dollars, but for the ''Downloadables."
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