Hillary Clinton is unamused
‘My husband is not Secretary of State – I am!’ she corrects an out-of-order questioner in Africa
A Congolese student got the full Hillary Clinton treatment yesterday - not the beaming smile, but the incredulous glare - after he dared to ask her what her husband Bill Clinton's view on a policy matter might be. "My husband is not Secretary of State," she snapped back. "I am!"
The awkward encounter occurred in Kinshasa when the male student asked Mrs Clinton what the former president thought about a controversial $9bn deal with China, which involves the Democratic Republic of Congo trading rights to develop its copper reserves for Chinese help in building new infrastructure.
"You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?" Clinton asked. "If you want my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channelling my husband."
It was hardly surprising that the Secretary of State was feeling sensitive. Her gruelling 11-day trip to Africa had been overshadowed by her husband's high-profile mercy mission to North Korea to win the release of two women journalists.
Throughout the trip to Africa, she has been bombarded with questions about Bill's North Korean adventure, having to explain time and time again that his was not a White House mission, but a private one.
Back home, the commentators have been having a field day, with Maureen Dowd in the New York Times accusing Bill of hogging the limelight at his wife's expense, and others taking the line that the two-for-one deal Barack Obama was signing up to when he appointed Hillary as Secretary of State was finally reaping dividends.
Tina Brown, the former New Yorker editor who is working on a new book about the Clintons, even said: "I really don't think she cares whether she's overshadowed at this stage in her life or not. She's been First Lady and run for president and is beyond rivalry for the limelight." But that was before the video came through from Kinshasa. ·
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