Remember, a critical -- perhaps the critical -- distinction Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign wants Democratic primary voters to draw is between her "competence" and President Bush's brand.

It's imperative that the White House plays along. Today, for the first time this cycle, the White House responded to a Democratic television ad -- Clinton's.

Q Dana, do you want to respond to a new ad that Senator Clinton is running in Iowa, in which he claims and charges that people without health care coverage are invisible to this President, and that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are invisible to this President>

MS. PERINO: Well, this is going to be tricky going into the campaign season, when people start running ads, because as tempted as I am to take that head on, I think I will refer to the RNC for the specific -- for answers on the politics of it. But as to the merits of it, I think it's outrageous. This is a President who, first and foremost, has helped millions of seniors across the country have access to prescription drugs at a much lower cost. That system that the President put in -- helped put in place, with the help of both sides of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, Medicare Part D, is helping millions of people, and working better than anyone would have expected. In addition to that, the President has tried to take on the issue at the root cause of it, and tried to change our health care system so that we actually are helping provide less expensive but still great quality care to people all over the country.

And as to whether or not our troops are invisible to this President, I think that that is absurd, and that is unconscionable that a member of Congress would say such a thing.

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