Barbara WaltersBARBARA WALTERS, HILLARY CLINTON, ROSIE O'DONNELL (IN AUDIENCE)‘ last day as on-air Den Mother of The View was, yes, a tribute —  and yet, Babs ran the show: Among the highlights:

— Babs corrects Sherri Shepherd when Shepherd calls surprise guest Hillary Clinton by her first name, saying “I don’t call her by her first name.”

— Babs tells Clinton: “As long as you’re here, let me ask you a question: Are you going to run?
Hillary responds lamely, “I am running – around the park.”

TheView_logo— Babs tells Hillary Clinton she wants her to take her place on The View but adds, “I think she may have another job…I know there are a lot of people who hope.”

— Cheri Oteri as Barbara Walters interviews Barbara Walters;  they engage in competitive name — and “R” — dropping. Oteri Walters says that now that she’s retired, she’d like to get a Costco card and visit Magic Mountain.

— Babs says she has no idea who is coming out after the break in this chock-full-of-surprises edition of the show, then calmly introduces Michael Douglas who, she says, she wanted on the show.

— Douglas says Babs should be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. He tells viewers that, at Walters’ dinner parties, she announces the subject they’re going to discuss and goes around the table asking each guest to weigh in on the topic. She tolerates no rannygazoo from her dinner guests, he says.

BarbaraWaltersOprahWinfrey— Oprah Winfrey shows up, telling Babs she’s here “to celebrate you because of what you have meant to me.”

— Clips of Harry Reasoner hating having Babs as his evening news co-anchor in the 70’s, when Babs became the first network evening news co-anchor. Those clips never get old. “Harry Reasoner didn’t want a partnership. If he did have a partner he certainly didn’t want me — he didn’t want someone without a hard news background,” Walters explains in that segment, which is a clip from tonight’s ABC primetime special on Babs.

— Babs notes her time co-anchoring evening news was a “failure” and that “specials saved my life,” which may be news to some people watching The View today, and explains her obsession with her primetime specials.

— Oprah ignores that revelation and sticks with her “shattering the glass ceiling” storyline.

— Parade of female TV news and infotainment program anchors/hosts up to congratulate Babs including not only ABC stars such as Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, but also NBC’s Today show co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales, and CBS’s Gayle King. “This is my legacy,” says Walters, who became a star on Today show before moving to ABC.

— Walters closes by hinting we may not be done with her yet, saying, “who knows that the future brings – maybe instead of ‘Goodbye’ I should say ‘a bientot’ which in French means ‘See you later!’ But wait – I can never leave without going a plug. I know – I’m ashamed of myself —  but that will not stop me. My next special, tonight, a two hour special on ABC,  from 9-11,  a look back at my personal and professional life…I haven’t seen it but I hear it’s great.” Have a look at some of the highlights from today’s show: