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

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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Comments () | Archives (11)

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Or maybe she was in the middle of a country where respect for women is virtually nonexistent, and she responded quite appropriately to what seemed to be an incredibly rude and sexist undermining of her authority.

Why am I not surprised that this is being reported in major media outlets as "CLINTON'S TEMPER FLARES!" even though she barely raised her voice? Why is it that John McCain's habit of hurling obscenities at his colleagues and his wife was more or less glossed over during the presidential campaign, but a ten-second display of chutzpah by Hillary Clinton has everybody buzzing about her "jealousy" and her "marital problems"?

Oh, right---because at its core, this country is almost as sexist as the one Clinton's been visiting.

Can someone ask her what is her husbands opinion on the North Korea saga? I'm really interested in what he thinks about the chances of bringing about peace in the region.

...mmmm maybe he will write a new book "My thoughts as husband of a Secretary"! What do you think Mrs Secretary? LOL

Hillary's over reaction reveals the same neurotic temperament she displayed during the campaign. The irritability, anger, and agrieved sense of entitlement as in " How dare you treat me like that by not electing me president?" How could you not realize what a wonderful person I am?

She's never going to get over her narcissistic self. Obama did not perceive her accurately when he asked her to be Secretary of State.

Why specify the menu prices for Clinton's birthday party? Unless the government covered the check, there is no reason for reporting this other than to provoke an indignant response from the public. Does anyone still simply report the news without an agenda? I know the story was posted on a blog but the blogger is a career reporter -- you would think she would show some semblance of professional pride.

Tangentially, I do not understand the outrage over the wealthy still spending money on luxuries. Is the public happy only if posh businesses go under as well?

You misheard the question numbnuts!!! He said, "Can you tell me what Mr. Clinton thinks through the mouth of Mrs. Clinton"? That's a lot different than "What does your husband think"?

And, you're being critical of what she said in return and implying that it speaks a greater issue of their marriage and her ego? I guess when you look through the eyes of a right winger, you see whatever you want to see and hear whatever you want to hear.

Leave Hilary alone. She's doing a fantastic job as secretary of state. She will be a great candidate in 2016 if she decides to run again for president.

not every country in the world - esp those that are volitile that we need the stronges diplomatic effectiveness - buys into the short haired 'woman in your face" paradigm of running the world - we are an arrogant country to try push that dwn the throats of other cultures, we are rather unsophisticated to think our way of life is the only way for everybody else - that's all these comments mean really.

After reading this blog post I can now see why the newspaper business is failing, and why the so-called "media" is treated with such disdain. The blogger says "whatever the explanation", then religiously repeats what the some in the MSM has to say (which is small-minded gossip at best), but fails to mention a different point of view about this incident. Is that how reporting is done these days? Your skills may not be worthy of the LA Times, perhaps the NY Post or other less quality news outlet would better appreciate your style of reporting.

Hillary's response to the question is clearly an irritated one, who can blame her? Is it true she had just come from a seminar on the victims of rape in the Congo? It was a rude question, and deserved exactly the response it got.

Ahhh Hilary....you got to love her!

In what way was her response inappropriate? Don't you think it was an absurd question? Don't you also, perchance, think that the substance of her visit to Congo is more relevant than her making a completely level-headed and reasonable response to a silly question? Seriously. Is this a paper for five year olds?

What would you expect? I think it is a shame that even our top diplomat speaks no words of any other language than her native English, and has to be at the mercy of translators 24/7. If only she had a working knowledge of French (the language in which the question was asked). We have a serious problem in this country and we can't hide from it anymore: we are proud of our ignorance of anything beyond our hometowns.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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