[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/02/art.3amphone.hrc.jpg caption="Sen. Clinton recently released an ad trumpeting her ability to handle a 3 a.m. phone call if elected to the Oval Office."]
WESTERVILLE, Ohio (CNN) - In a high school gym just north of Columbus on Sunday, Hillary Clinton elaborated on just what kind of phone call she is prepared to take at three in the morning.
In tandem with a new campaign ad, Clinton has warned over the last three days that a president needs the right kind of experience to deal with such a phone call, and to make a split-second decision without advisers at her side.
“When those calls come in at 3 a.m. it might be a national security crisis,” she said in a hushed voice. “You know, it could be an economic crisis. The economy is facing some really troubled waters.”
Clinton linked a hypothetical middle-of-the-night economic crisis to terrorism or political upheaval abroad.
“Think about what could happen if there were unrest in Nigeria, or a terrorist act in Saudi Arabia,” she continued. “Oil would shoot to 150 dollars a barrel.”
The crowd applauded as she then criticized the Bush administration for wanting to “hold hands with the Saudis” rather than stand up to them.
In recent days, Clinton has demurred when asked to name a crucial 3 a.m. decision from her own experience.
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- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby