12
Aug
09

I’m Hillary, not Bill

Was Sec of State Clinton justified in giving this terse answer?


She’s resolved her differences with the student, but the debate is still raging.

Some of you on the blog have been saying that this has been blown out of proportion. The poor guy was yelled at for something he didn’t even say according to latest reports of a wrong translation.

Others, like Robert Schadler from the American Foreign Policy Council are not so convinced. “If a student in the Congo can get under your skin with a mistranslation and you’re unable to deflect it in a gracious diplomatic way, one gets a little concerned when an issue of more consequence comes along and she might indulge in a personal perspective as opposed to something that’s good for the country as a whole.”

Hillaryis44 believes that everyone woman should take a leaf out of Clinton’s book – she stood her ground. But maybe she stood her ground a bit too much according to Joanna Molloy . She writes that it’s impossible to forget that Hillary is married to a former US president and she should just lighten up…simple. So should she have chilled out or was she right to lash out?


108 Responses to “I’m Hillary, not Bill”


  1. 1 Jennifer
    August 11, 2009 at 13:28

    As it is; this makes me mad because if we take it for what it is then yes; Hillary Clinton was right to be terse because she is just a limb of her husband without her own accomplishments. However, because of the choices that Hillary has made I think she brings that perception on herself. As someone who did support her; now I am indifferent…

    I did hear that this was just a interpreter error though….

  2. 2 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 11, 2009 at 13:29

    She wasn’t justified. It was rude and shows the gross disregard to the male student asking the question. Peradeventure the question was messed up either through the questioner or the interpreter.

    More importantly the media missed the point of the question. The question related to a deal between the chinese government and the DRC government.
    The facts are that the World Bank told the DRC government that if they rejected the chinese loan of US20 billion they(WB) will forgive their debts. Now that’s blackmail. So Mrs Clinton tantum ended up being a red herring a very good diversionary tactic.

    THE DISCUSSION SHOULD BE ABOUT THE IMPACT OF WB AND IMF POLICIES ON POOR COUNTRIES.

    • 3 Dale in Oregon, US
      August 11, 2009 at 18:29

      I agree. There is no reason to react like an angry child, just because she doesn’t like the question. I’m not even a member of the US Diplomatic Corp, but I could have handled that one better.

  3. 4 Ramesh, India
    August 11, 2009 at 13:34

    If she is the secretary of state, what business she has to do with local university students, I wonder.

  4. 5 Josh
    August 11, 2009 at 13:35

    Oh yes! Very much justified, and good for her. It’s not very often we get honest emotions like that from our political leaders now, is it?

    • 6 Helen
      August 11, 2009 at 18:37

      I don’t think it was an emotional reaction. How can we forget that if she wasn’t there I her capacity as Secretary of State,she wouldn’t have been there at all. She wasn’t chatting over the fence with the neighbor about what her husband thinks. There’s no way she could have or would have expressed her husbands opinions or assessment of the situation. I don’t think it would be easy to go through the travel and the stress and all the little annoying things that come with time consuming travel and being in another country. If someone sounds sharp or cranky I can’t blame them. I think the channeling remark was her trying to maintain her sense of humor. Even tight shoes or indigestion can make you very uncomfortable.

    • 7 Hashim
      August 11, 2009 at 20:43

      True Josh,
      candit responses are rare, but do we really what a Jerry Springer Show?
      …no disrepect…

  5. 8 steve
    August 11, 2009 at 13:46

    How diplomatic of the secretary of state. typical politician

  6. 9 Meren
    August 11, 2009 at 13:55

    I agree with her. If you want to know Bill Clinton’s thoughts, ask Bill Clinton! If you want to know what HILLARY Clinton thinks, then ask her! Come on people.

    @ steve Fair is Fair. I believe she answered as respectfully as she could, a question that to my view was a bit disrespectful. (He didn’t ask what SHE thought of it, but rather what her Husband thought of it, which in effect negated her as having an opinion on the matter.) Personally, I would have been a bit miffed about the question, as well, if I were her.

  7. 10 Kelly, from Chicago, IL, USA
    August 11, 2009 at 14:02

    Not professional, but understandable. I would be considerably miffed at that as well.

  8. 11 Tony from Singapura
    August 11, 2009 at 14:06

    Excelent stupid question.

    Mrs Clinton has been on the road for a long time, different countries and different time zones, not to mention different agenda and issues for each stop.

    she’s OK !

  9. 12 Paul
    August 11, 2009 at 14:08

    I didn’t hear the student at any point link the Secretary of State’s job to Bill. She should have responded to the question and if she hadn’t talked to her husband, just say that she hadn’t. Instead, she acted like a child throwing her toys out of the cot. To me it looked like a case of, ‘why do you still want to mention him. He already had his time in the spotlight. Now’s my turn.’

    Paul
    Lusaka, Zambia

    • 13 Scottie D
      August 14, 2009 at 16:59

      Why don’t you just admit it was a stupid question. Heaven forbid someone other than an American being responsible for a problem!

  10. 14 Amit C Javgal
    August 11, 2009 at 14:23

    Ouch…..

    Ah well….. Its not such a big deal anyway……..

    Lets move on……..

    Amit,
    Bangalore, India

  11. 15 steve
    August 11, 2009 at 14:25

    @ Josh
    Diplomats are supposed to be diplomatic, not emotional. She’s the HEAD Us Diplomat.

  12. 16 Evans
    August 11, 2009 at 14:28

    She was absolutely justified and I thought she handled herself well. C’mon, this question was annoying and she DID NOT lash out simply stated her case in a forthright and forceful way. Emotional??? Maybe. But no more than anyone else would do.

    As Secretary of State she is charged with representing the position of the United States on a variety of foreign relations issues. She needs to reach out to groups anywhere and everywhere to make the US case on issues of the day. Students are an important group to speak to.

    Clearly the questioner did not appreciate the offending nature of the question. She would have been wrong to yell or get visibly angry. What she did was both measured and appropriate.

  13. 17 Erin
    August 11, 2009 at 14:32

    yes, it is justified. Granted, her emotions shown through yet she is right that she cannot, and should not, answer for someone else. Her terse response seems to show how often she’s seen in the shadow of her husband…. frustrating to say the least.

  14. 18 Jonathan, Medford, Massachusetts
    August 11, 2009 at 14:34

    It was absolutely justified. Mrs. Clinton has faced the challenge of overcoming sexism in society, both as a presidential candidate and now as Secretary of State. Even the most patient person would be angry after such as insult.

  15. 19 vishaka
    August 11, 2009 at 14:35

    I understand that it was quite a stupid question to ask, why ask the wife what a husband thinks. But nonetheless Hilary didnt have to be sooo rude! No sense of a diplomat at all by the way she was responding to that question. That is quite harsh towards the student who asked.

  16. 21 Tony from Singapura
    August 11, 2009 at 14:50

    HEy Steve well she is the head diplomat, but she is a politition and not a profressional diplomat – so I give some allowance there.

  17. 22 UMOH AMOS (Nigeria)
    August 11, 2009 at 14:51

    Her emotional outburst was too impromptu and OVER THE TOP. She didn’t show an inch of restrain in her response. She responded as if some one (poor student) had stepped on her toes.

    The inference she tried to draw with her husband was as if she was struggling to stay in the spotlight. The picture she painted was to say the least EMBARASSING.

    • 23 Halima
      August 11, 2009 at 17:07

      emotional outburst? come on. she was calm, collected and answered the comment appropriately. It was not SHE who was making inferences about her husband. Your inference that she was “struggling to stay in the spotlight” is odd, to say the least. She is a high ranking representative of a major government present to listen to and answer questions according to her rank – she is NOT a housewife showing off and trying to upstage her husband.

    • 24 Scottie D
      August 14, 2009 at 17:07

      That’s rubbish. And you don’t need to use CAPS to portray a point. That is OVER THE TOP.

      If you think that is an emotional outburst-have a look at your own Nigerian government. Perhaps you should head off to websites that discuss Nigerian corruption and your treatment of women?

      And she was not a ‘poor student’, if the student wanted to ask a question, then make it a legitimate one. This was rubbish. No inferences should have to be interpreted, ask a proper question, get a proper answer.

  18. 25 steve
    August 11, 2009 at 14:51

    @ Meren

    Respectfully as she could? There could have been translation errors for all she knew. That was very undiplomatic. I cannot imagine any other Secretary Of State giving an answer like that. They’re supposed to be diplomats. Would Albright have given an answer like that? Would have Dulles? It seems that even Cordell Hull, upon recieving the Japanese declaration of war shortly after Pearly Harbor, acted more maturely than Clinton did.

    • 26 Halima
      August 11, 2009 at 17:08

      so what answer would you give if someone asked you, as a representative of some important body what your wife thinks on the issues you have come to discuss?

      • 27 Hashim
        August 11, 2009 at 21:13

        I would expect her to state that she was unable to respond for a third person, ….possibly bring attention to the individual asking the question that FORMER president B.C. is no longer in office, and has not been for nearly 10 years…but if there is any interest in my official opinion as Secretary of State…..

      • 28 Scottie D
        August 14, 2009 at 16:59

        Excellent point.

    • 29 leti in palma
      August 11, 2009 at 17:30

      well, I don’t suppose that any Male secretary of state would have been asked what his wife thought of the situation.

      • 30 Dale in Oregon, US
        August 11, 2009 at 18:55

        If his wife had been the President of the US for eight years, I think his opinion would probably be an important consideration.

      • 31 Hashim
        August 11, 2009 at 21:17

        possibly no as common….however Pres. Obama could have just as well be asked …..what opinion would Mr. McCain, or former pres. Bush have…

  19. August 11, 2009 at 14:55

    Mrs Clinton was making a valid point. Her husband is no longer in government. Though he held the coveted position of President eight years ago, he no longer holds a public position. So she was spot on. One should not make a mountain out of a mole-hill. One should question her on her policies and that of the Obama Administration as she is currently the chief American diplomat as Secretary of State.

  20. August 11, 2009 at 15:06

    May be Ms Clinton had totally forgotten about her agendas that she came for in Africa!

    • 34 Halima
      August 11, 2009 at 17:09

      or the questioner did. She answered appropriately. If you want questions about Africa, ask them, not what your husband, wife, uncle, cousin or famous celebrity relative thinks.

  21. 35 Steve
    August 11, 2009 at 15:08

    I’m still laughing at all this. Saint Obama should have picked Bill for Secretary of State. First, he and Al Gore upstage her by bringinbg back those “journalists” who got picked up in North Korea, then this question on her trip to Africa. Hillary is an obnoxious “school girl” and will always be one.

  22. 36 Julie P
    August 11, 2009 at 15:17

    This is the kind of response when you show someone lack of respect. If he is so interested in knowing what former president Bill Clinton thinks on an issue, he can send him an e-mail through his website. Hillary’s reaction was spot on.

  23. August 11, 2009 at 15:57

    I think the person who asked her the question should be tried and sent to jail for making a very special visitor angry. That’s not the way to show hospitality to a dignitary!

    The good point about Hillary’s response is that she appeared in her true colours. Usually, she appears in a broad smile, if not in a state of rupture for good or bad reasons. Now she gives a glimpse of what she looks like when she is in a bad temper.

    Maybe, she got in a bad temper because it was too hot in that room due to the breakdown of the air conditioner. For this reason, the organisers should also be tried and sent to jail for having made her feel uncomfortable and lose her temper.

  24. 39 larry
    August 11, 2009 at 16:01

    If a person in any position of influence and or power is unraveled so easily by such a trivial matter-and especially in a public forum they have displayed thier inavbility to function with calmness and intelect in decision making. this person whether they be a local official or a world leader should step down. if the job is diplomatic they should at least be trained to respond accordingly

  25. 40 Lisa B
    August 11, 2009 at 16:33

    Absolutely Ms. Clinton is justified in her response to such a misogynist question. To bluntly state that she is only the channel for her husband’s thoughts is outrageous. This is not only dismissive her as a woman, but is also dismissive of a state official of the US government. As a woman, I’m offended by the question’s dismissal of Clinton’s intelligence and accomplishments and as an American citizen I’m offended that an official of our country would be treated in such a manner.

    One can’t imagine a male official being asked the same question. “As the mere vessel of your wife’s opinion, Gordon Brown, could you tell us what your wife wants Britain to do about this issue?” The question itself would be considered inappropriate and out of line – or shrugged off as a “human interest” angle. I stand behind Ms. Clinton’s reaction as justified and in the light of the misogyny that woman are living under all over the world – actually restrained.

    • 41 Halima
      August 11, 2009 at 17:12

      I am also offended by the question and disapponted that so many men on this blog seem to think her reply was “emotional” or an “outburst” when it was clearly an cool, calm and reasoned response to an insult and a call to move on to the questions at hand.

      • 42 leti in palma
        August 11, 2009 at 17:37

        @Halima..I’m with you there!
        Aren’t we “always” being accused of being “over-emotional” and “hysterical” when our responses are not what men think they should be? If Hillary had been a man being asked what his wife thought of the question, how differently would that same response have been interpreted?

  26. 43 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 11, 2009 at 16:38

    @Abdelilah Boukili in Morocco

    “I think the person who asked her the question should be tried and sent to jail for making a very special visitor angry. That’s not the way to show hospitality to a dignitary!”

    Are you really serious about the above comments? I doubt you really believe what you wrote and you are probably horsing around.

  27. 45 nora
    August 11, 2009 at 17:29

    GREAT TV! The video camera is an agent of democracy. A sexist bait tied to the World Bank and China–without air conditioning. It doesn’t get more family style than this.

    Hilary really looked like a proper back room Chicago deal maker. Truly one of the boys. Even her stance. Since the essence of diplomacy is deal making, I have no problem with human interchange where no shots are fired. Have a cigar and a good meal and we can talk this out.

  28. 46 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 11, 2009 at 17:36

    There is the account of what took place on yahoo news. When you read that you will recognise that she was totally out of place.

    READ PEOPLE, DO YOUR RESEARCH.

    • 47 Halima
      August 11, 2009 at 17:56

      no, she was totally right. not out of place at all. She was clearly asked what her husband thought and her answer was that she was not her husband. To be asked what her husband thought was an insult. This may have been an error of translation when the questioner had intended to ask what Mr. Obama thinks and as she is Obama’s envoy, that would be a reasonable question. But he did not ask that – and it came across as extremely sexist. Apparently the error was corrected later and an apology was given, and her answer was not to worry about it – matter closed. She was not wrong to react to a clearly sexist question. Had she not, she would have betrayed women everywhere who must live in men’s shadows.

      • 48 Hashim
        August 11, 2009 at 21:30

        an insult is only so if you recieve it as so…
        …Would Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or Mother Teresa contest in such a manner?

    • 49 LB
      August 11, 2009 at 18:05

      Seriously you’re asking us to do research using Yahoo news?

      Consider that she is campaigning to end the unbelievable RAPES of woman and children in the Congo – and she is treated and dismissed with a question to channel her husband? Seriously? Open your mind. For shame – Sexism will be the last “ism” to go.

      • 50 Chrissy in Portland
        August 12, 2009 at 17:40

        @ Hishim

        Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or Mother Teresa? Hillary is a politician not a spiritual leader. She is human! Give the woman some slack. If a man in her position had given a “terse” response to a question, would we be talking about it? Somehow I doubt it.

        Also, maybe there should have been more planning on the part of the organizers of this engagement. Having such an important US dignitary there, I would have thought they would have screened the questions to make sure they were all appropriate and well presented.

  29. 51 Anthony
    August 11, 2009 at 17:48

    Look, Bill was awesome. 300 billion surplus, highest drop in unemployment, biggest surge in the stock market, he was awesome, and she needs to understand that.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  30. 52 Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite
    August 11, 2009 at 17:58

    Hello and thank you for a reply slot.
    In Mrs Clinton’s case, she herself resolved the problem the best way. Responsible people never assume someone else’s place irrespective of whether the question concerns a decision or only an opinion. This is the only right and proper attitude, while the common people today are often insensitive of where correct behaviour and formality end and overstep on the side of informality. This might be a minor sense in Mrs Clinton’s case. But a major point in her case is improper question and conduct. She is an official and political figure now and every person should mind how he addresses her. I would even tend to see some rudeness mixed with familiarity in this case: the question might have been asked by the person who treated Mrs Clinton as an ordinary person because she is a woman. Whatever angle I take, I see a lack of propriety on the part of the questioning person(s). Thank you. Marija Liudvika Rutkauskaite

  31. 53 nora
    August 11, 2009 at 18:12

    Hilary Clinton was dealing with issues of rape and war, which would make anyone a little testy.

  32. 54 Keith
    August 11, 2009 at 18:16

    I think that Hillary was quite justified in her response. Hilary has been occasionally been taken less seriously, particularly by other countries, because she is Bill’s wife. I do not consider this response emotional, I consider it stern. I think a stern response is appropriate for a silly question. Anyone who takes particular offense at this, or acts outraged, probably has a different axe to grind with Hillary.

  33. 55 Lane Ikeler
    August 11, 2009 at 18:16

    Re: Sec. Hillary Clinton
    MY reaction when I heard the question posed to Sec. Clinton this morning on BBC was “THAT was rude!” and it seemed to me that it was MEANT to be a dig at her. Since then I’ve heard that supposedly the questioner mispoke and meant to say Pres. Obama, but I’m sceptical. I’m sure FOX News has already spun the story to put Hillary in the worst light they possibly can.

  34. 56 AHAMBA
    August 11, 2009 at 18:17

    Hillary was just being herself. Diplomacy always attempts to feign civility but once in a while reality prevails. When a person accepts a public office as high as US sec of state, she should know that the limit of her privacy would be defined by the public. She is still Hillary CLINTON.

  35. August 11, 2009 at 18:22

    What is the story? I don’t see one. The Clinton-haters might. Sorry old men might.

    This is simply not a story.

    Norm

  36. 58 Gloria
    August 11, 2009 at 18:22

    Give Hillary a break. She has been demonized by the right and left wings, marginalized by Obama, overshadowed by Bill, trivilized by the press, and abandoned by feminists. Who wouldn’t be testy?
    Gloria
    Portland Or

  37. 59 mountain adam in portland
    August 11, 2009 at 18:28

    A reaction was appropriate but as is usual she disapoints with her snappish and cranky mannerisms. Sad that our top diplomat behaves this way. Oh to have a proper British woman as our Secretary of State. Or perhaps Madeline Albrite again.

  38. 60 James Turner
    August 11, 2009 at 18:29

    Absolutely! We could probably count on one hand the number of people in the Nation of Africa who are not familiar with who is the current President of the USA. I think the person got just what it was he was looking for.

  39. 61 iolo
    August 11, 2009 at 18:31

    Most likely, she is being swamped by questions asking her to speak for Bill-
    we already know theirs must not be the common sort of american marriage which results in divorce, children not going to college, illiterate grandchildren littering the backyard, and so forth

    it was, perhaps, an annoyed response to a questionable request-
    Clinton’s forthright and pointedly joking sort of response …should nothing have been said, and she move on? what other sort of reply to questions that aren’t questions, et c?

    a good portion of the ‘question’ seemed poorly thought out, even if the translation was not too swift, it was a silly thing to do, to ask one person what another thinks – or is that now a respectable question, from which one can expect to derive a valid response?

    it’s not like any and every ‘reporter’ has a question every day worth directly answering, not that any official should be unduly free of smaller concerns –

    apologies for liberties w/standard grammar

  40. 62 Gary
    August 11, 2009 at 18:34

    All she had to say was “If you want Bill’s opinion, ask him.”

    I had seen this kind of behavior from her back in the 1990s which is one of the main reasons I don’t support her as a leader of this country.

    And to say that the question is rude is ignoring the fact that these are two very high powered, high profile people. Others are interested in how that works.

    Hillary is the Secretary of State, she shouldn’t behave like she’s got a chip on her shoulder.

  41. 63 Bert
    August 11, 2009 at 18:36

    Heh heh. It made me laugh. Clearly, the question hit a nerve. We all have our hot buttons, I suppose. In this case, the hot button is that Hillary wants to be taken as an individual, independent of Bill. Big deal.

    And no one claimed Hillary is a super nice person.

  42. 64 patti in cape coral
    August 11, 2009 at 18:39

    Did she ever answer the question, if only to give her humble opinion, or did she just leave it at “I am not channeling my husband.”?

  43. 65 Steve
    August 11, 2009 at 18:39

    WLJA, the ABC affiliate in Washington, DC, is reporting that the translator was incorrect. The student asked about what President Obama, not Bill Clinton, thinks.

  44. August 11, 2009 at 18:40

    Oh PUHLEEZE! If a MAN had answered that question using the exact same words in the exact same tone of voice when asked about his WIFE’s opinion, this would not even be on the air.

    This entire conversation is sexist!

  45. 67 Poul-Erik
    August 11, 2009 at 18:40

    Ros- the question was about Obama and not President Clinton- she over-reacted, plain and simple

  46. 68 Dave
    August 11, 2009 at 18:41

    Why are we talking about Hillary? I think the conversation should be about how out of place the reporter is to ask Hillary about anyone elses’ opinion, Bill’s, Barak’s, or the Pope…how could she answer for them? I think the reporter pool is pathetically shallow if they can not even direct questions to who is in front of them. The reporter’s level of disrespect is amazing and sad.

  47. 69 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    August 11, 2009 at 18:41

    This is just further proof that Bill Clinton NEVER should have been sent into N. Korea. Now no one can take current US politicians seriously, since we’re just sending [unelected] people in to other countries as diplomats willy-nilly.

  48. 70 Mike in Seattle
    August 11, 2009 at 18:43

    I’m an American Male here, and I fully support Secretary Clinton’s response. It was a horribly condecending question asked in a condecending tone and that sort of thing needs to be shut down.

    As an American, she makes me proud.

  49. 71 Amanda
    August 11, 2009 at 18:43

    As usual, WHYS makes me reach for the dial. This show makes me change the station more than anything on radio. Another useless conversation.

  50. 72 Liz
    August 11, 2009 at 18:45

    I think Hillary’s response was completely appropriate. She had to respond sharply to minimize the liklihood she won’t be asked this question again. Her comment about channeling her husband was said in a sarcastic/joking manner at the end – I think if a man had given that same response, in that same tone, we would not be speaking about it today. We don’t want a soft spoken, pushover in Hillary’s role. She did great.

  51. 74 Bill
    August 11, 2009 at 18:45

    Bill Clinton went to North Korea as a private citizen not as an envoy of the US government. And now people want his opinion rather than that of the secretary of state? She has a right to be angry and insulted.

  52. 75 Carole
    August 11, 2009 at 18:45

    Yes, she may have over reacted slightly, only as a diplomat. But as a woman is this any different from how Dr. Gates reacted as a black man to the police believing he was breaking in to his own house. Why are we willing to look the other way when the person is black and not a woman? Is it because she is a white powerful woman? All the more reason to address the rude question with a rude response. Honestly, the best response whould have been to ignore the question as it was not addressed to her.

  53. 76 mountain adam in portland
    August 11, 2009 at 18:49

    @ Bert & Gary my sentiments exactly. I wish we had a real diplomat in that position. Her behavior over the years shows that she most likely is not the righr person for the job. Actually not for any leadership role in the US.

  54. 77 David
    August 11, 2009 at 18:50

    I was pleased w/Hillary’s response. However, this was simply a translation error and not an attack on Mrs. Clinton. ~David from Madeira Beach, FL USA

  55. 78 steve
    August 11, 2009 at 18:51

    The question was inappropriate, but what was more inappropriate was the response from a supposed diplomat. After all, the person who asked the question was a student, and Clinton has been a Senator and is currently the Secretary of State, you’d expect more decorum from a diplomat.

  56. 79 Dale in Oregon, US
    August 11, 2009 at 18:51

    I do think this is typical Hillary behavior. It’s also indicative of the arrogance of the current administration. They will decide what a valid question is and they’ll decide what you should think of the answer. How about a response like: “Well, I’m not my husband, so I’ll let him answer that for himself. In my opinion…” That would have been a response you would expect from an adult who is also supposed to be a diplomat. But no matter how she markets herself, all of us in the US know that Hillary is neither.

  57. 80 mark fron Texas, USA
    August 11, 2009 at 18:52

    Her response was entirely appropriate. Would I have used different words? Perhaps, but the same point would have been made in either case.

    This is much ado about nothing. Move on please, to something that *matters*.

  58. 81 Bethany
    August 11, 2009 at 18:54

    The Secretary of State respresents the United States of America. I want the USA to be respected and taken seriously. Nice doesn’t cut it.

  59. 82 Maitin from Pennsylvania, USA
    August 11, 2009 at 18:55

    I will preface this by saying I dislike Hillary Clinton. However, her response was correct. The question was insulting to the office which she holds.

  60. 83 steve
    August 11, 2009 at 18:55

    What she should have done, was presume there was a mistranslation, and answer the question like he was asking her own opinion. That’s how you are diplomatic. You don’t act insulted, you don’t tell the person to ask the question directly to her about her. “What I think you were asking was” and then answer the question.

  61. August 11, 2009 at 18:56

    Hillary rocks! It was a lame question & the questioner needed to know how lacking in thought & manners it was to ask what Bill thought. If you had an opportunity to speak directly to the Sec. of State of the USA why would you say that????

  62. 85 Jason
    August 11, 2009 at 19:00

    Oregon City Oregon – Oregon Public Radio

    I’m not a big fan of Secretary Clinton, but I find her response to that question delightfully frank. In a time when everyone seems to think what we say isn’t as important as how we say it, it’s refreshing to see someone speak so candidly and directly.

    – Jason

  63. 86 LB
    August 11, 2009 at 19:05

    I don’t believe for a second this was a translation error. That’s easy spin to take the pressure off the fact that the reporter should have been better prepared with a question that was appropriate. .

  64. 88 Baker Kawesa
    August 11, 2009 at 19:19

    African men are disrespectful to women? No, just your regular ploy to stereotype African men as inferior minded and backward!

    Hilary Clinton, SECRETARY OF STATE getting emotional on the job? Yep!
    No sexism, but I can imagine that if it were a man on the job, he might have simply laughed it off or even played along to the joke of it!

    Of course a man would never really be asked such a question!

  65. 89 steve
    August 11, 2009 at 19:23

    It’s not the point that he asked a “lame” question. It was. It was a very stupid question, but diplomats are not supposed to react way.

  66. August 11, 2009 at 19:25

    what hurts me is that every non African is now lumping up all African men to be like this boy that asked such a stupid question. to tell you the truth, i had my breath held when i heard hillary was going to do a town hall Q&A in the Congo, i feared something like this might happen, now look what has become of all African men, we are now all labeled sexists and unthinking, it just hurts

  67. 91 steve
    August 11, 2009 at 19:47

    @ Rodger

    Every non african is lumping all african men together as a result of this. It’s a case of a stupid question and a undiplomatic response, nothing more.

  68. 92 Savane, Nairobi
    August 11, 2009 at 20:14

    Ask a stupid question? Then get ready for whatever comes your way! The student’s a fool for not seeing that one coming!

    I’m a Kenyan housewife whose husband ran the stock exchange in Kenya! I could have made more money for the number of times I was asked what my husband thought were the best stocks to buy and when to sell, than the actual returns on the investments in my stock portfolio! And guess who makes the investment decisions? ME!! With healthy returns!

    When I’m asked that question, I ask them to call him!

  69. 93 T
    August 11, 2009 at 20:23

    Was Hillary out of line? Yes. But also, what if it was Obama responding to a white person’s question in the States? The MSM would run the clip to death. He would be labeled as “uppity.” And he’d get even more death threats then he does now.

  70. 94 white, susan
    August 11, 2009 at 21:00

    The questioner was actually asking about President Obama’s opinion, not her husband Bill’s, from what I understood. Due to interpreter error, that’s not understood in all of this which makes a big difference, doesn’t it?

  71. 95 archibald
    August 12, 2009 at 00:01

    Why is this note worthy, WHYS? There are at least 10 other viable news items at the current moment and probably another 1,000, you will never hear about and this is what qualifies as substantial. For fear of being edited I will withhold my ending remarks and just say PLEASE!

  72. 96 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 12, 2009 at 01:46

    This is genius because nearly everyone missed the question. Who cares about Mrs Clinton’s response when SHE DIDN’T ANSWER THE REAL QUESTION concerning the World Bank and their attempt to blackmail the DRC government. I’m not fooled by the media fanfare that tries to sensationalise issues but at the heart doesn’t really want to contribute real debate on the issues that matter.

    At the end of the day the people in Africa will still be poor and mendicant and WE WOULD HAVE MISSED A KEY OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS LENDING POLICIES AND DEBT FORGIVENESS IN POOR COUNTRIES. Peradventure the discussion might have led to the enlightenment of many. But sadly these are issues that not many people like or want to deal with.

  73. 97 Steve in Boston
    August 12, 2009 at 04:27

    Its not about men vs. women. Its about Hillary. Who cares what Hillary Clinton thinks? Without Bill she’d be an unknown college professor somewhere. But Bill Clinton, he was a two-term President of the United States. His opinion is important.

    • 98 Ramesh, India
      August 12, 2009 at 13:38

      Steve in Boston, didn’t you hear the joke that if Hillary married some other guy, he would have become president, Not Bill! This joke circulated when Mr. Clinton was elected first time.

  74. 99 Nick in Tacoma (U.S)
    August 12, 2009 at 05:04

    The bulk of the discussion speaking against what Secretary Clinton said relates to her supposed emotions, not the content of what she said. Its time we realized that there is nothing wrong with being angry. It happens all the time. As long as the anger is directed appropriately and with respect, it is a good thing and something we need to see more often in our world leaders. It helps everyone understand how to act as adults in difficult situations. Secretary Clinton did well. Her anger was appropriate given the bone headed question and her response was dignified as well.

  75. 100 Ramesh, India
    August 12, 2009 at 13:43

    I think all this discussion arose because we are seeing first time that Mrs. Clinton(!) can be provoked!

  76. 101 scmehta
    August 12, 2009 at 13:59

    But M’am Clinton,
    you are Bill’s Hillary.

  77. 102 Dan
    August 12, 2009 at 15:52

    Well we touched Hillarys most sensitive nerve.
    This shows clearly that a housewife hasn’t the skills to be a Secretary of State or hold any position in Government.
    Her maniacal healthcare initiative in 2003 showed that she prefers to do things in secret, alone and not be questioned.
    A true professional would have made a joke about the comment but we know that Hillary is far from being a professional.

  78. August 12, 2009 at 16:14

    Hillary Clinton was right to stand her ground. Too much valuable time has been spent on what Bill Clinton thinks and so she was making a moot point. The question was apparently not translated properly. So too much is being read into this unfortunate translation error. Perhaps the translator was too excited at having to translate such a high profile press conference! Mrs Clinton is a highly astute, competent, well-respected Secretary of State. She has her facts at her finger-tips. So even when banana skins are placed on her path she is able rise to the occasion. America stands tall again as the earlier unilateral policy is being replaced by multi-lateral policies.

  79. 104 patti in cape coral
    August 12, 2009 at 16:21

    Hillary Clinton was a housewife before she became secretary of state?

  80. 105 Tom K in Mpls
    August 12, 2009 at 18:12

    Diplomats are a national tool. Sometimes hard, sometimes soft. Very few actions are very significant on their own. This has been a very small and humorous event. It has show people love to overplay any ‘ism’ if it get’s them attention. Most likely, it was a genuine reaction but it it was an excellent demonstration of personal strength and may have been more acting than not.

    Bottom line, I’m sitting back and enjoying the show.

  81. 106 Cici
    August 12, 2009 at 22:54

    Bottom line is Hillary is not just you or me. She is the Secretary of State and should be respectful of the cultural differences that exist in the world and the ways this may play out in the public arena. There are so many more diplomatic ways in which she could have handled this situation.

    • 107 Scottie D
      August 14, 2009 at 17:10

      What about the student’s responsibility to the Secretary of State and the occasion? How about asking a better prepared question? Focus on both parties-not just because it’s easy to slag the Americans.

  82. August 13, 2009 at 20:12

    Mrs Clinton did not ‘ Lose her cool’ as stated in the media. Her answer to the question was logical, and expressed in a forthright manner.


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