Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became very testy recently when asked a question at a meeting with young people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was a great illustration of the problems that the spouse of a more famous person faces.
According to the New York Daily News, the blow up came when Secretary Clinton was asked by a student about the growing influence of China in Africa. The translator added, as it later became revealed quite erroneously, “What does Mr. Clinton think about it?” What the student actually asked was what President Obama thought about it, but the translator mangled the question.
Secretary Hillary Clinton was having none of it. “Wait, you want to know what my husband thinks? My husband is not the secretary of state – I am. “You ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I’m not going to channel my husband.”
One can have naught but sympathy toward Secretary Hillary Clinton. Her relationship with her husband Bill, who, if nothing else, is certainly a larger than life person, has been complicated and, at times, more than a bit rocky. The constant humiliations inflicted upon Hillary Clinton by her husband because of the latter’s uncontrollable libido have been well documented.
The problem is that Hillary Clinton has had political ambitions of her own for decades. While it is true that she did get elected to the United States Senate twice and now holds the important, high profile job of Secretary of State, she has been denied the ultimate prize of being President of the United States in her own right. Bill Clinton, her husband, will always have the fact that he was President and not her to remind her of how she has fallen short.
Recently President Bill Clinton scored something of a diplomatic coup by helping to bring home two American journalists from North Korea, where they had been sentenced to twelve years of hard labor on trumped up charges. While it is true that former President Clinton was, in effect, negotiating with state terrorists and had given away some concessions in the form of attention desired by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, his coup did put him in the limelight again.
Bill Clinton got the good press. That must have been galling for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been toiling at the lower profile, but very necessary task of improving relations in Africa. Once again Hillary Clinton must have been feeling underappreciated and taken for granted. Hence, the snarky response to the question by the poor student in the Congo.
Source: Hillary Clinton loses cool at question on Bill: ‘My husband is not the Secretary of State, I am’, Richard Sisk, New York Daily News, August 10th, 2009