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Hillary bristles, Bill parties & the Clinton saga continues (video here)

August 11, 2009 |  7:42 am

Maybe she misheard the question. Maybe the French translator got it wrong, translating "what does your husband think" for "what does your president think." Maybe she was tired, amid a grueling 11-day odyssey to Africa.

Whatever the explanation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bristled the other day at a questioner in the Democratic Republic of Congo seeking the views of her husband, former President Clinton.

"Wait, you want to know what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of State -- I am," she snapped. "You ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to be channeling my husband."


Pundits immediately seized on the episode as evidence of further troubles in the Clinton marriage. The New York Daily News noted that Bill Clinton "big-footed her off the front pages last week with his surprise trip to North Korea to bring back two jailed female U.S. journalists."

Columnist Eugene Robinson wondered on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" if there was a back story. Perhaps Hillary Clinton -- sidelined in June with a broken elbow that kept her from accompanying President Obama on some high-profile foreign trips -- bristled because this is not the first time people have asked for her husband's POV.

Meanwhile Bill Clinton was celebrating his 63rd birthday a week early at his favorite restaurant. In Las Vegas for a clean energy summit, Clinton decided to invite some  friends to join him at the pricey  Craftsteak at the MGM Grand hotel to mark his Aug. 19 birthday. How pricey? asked the New York Times. "The 8-ounce wagyu New York strip steak goes for $240. (Potatoes and other sides are extra.)"

On hand for the meat-eating: former DNC chairman and Clinton golfing buddy Terry McAuliffe, senior adviser Paul Begala, former chief of staff John Podesta, Hollywood executive Haim Saban, former communications director Jay Carson and Steve Bing, the Hollywood media mogul who lent Clinton his jet for the diplomatic mission to North Korea to negotiate the release of two American journalists.

No word on what they ordered. As they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

-- Johanna Neuman

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