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Hold the Crumpets

Clinton talked up her time as First Lady. (Reuters).

By Peter Baker
DUBUQUE, Iowa -- It ain't no tea party being first lady. At least that's what Hillary Rodham Clinton's telling audiences.

A day after Sen. Barack Obama dismissed her foreign policy experience as little more than sipping tea with potentates, Clinton fired back by portraying herself as a virtual secretary of state during her husband's administration.

To listen to her tell it, she brought peace to Northern Ireland ("I went to Northern Ireland more than my husband did"), parachuted into the hottest of the world's hotspots ("If it's too dangerous, too small and too poor, send the first lady") and improved U.S. ties with the other countries ("I was part of the diplomatic team that conveyed America's values across the world").

She said she saved Kosovar refugees by persuading Macedonia to reopen its border. And in a direct jab back at Obama, she recalled visiting Bosnia on a plane that made a tight corkscrew landing to avoid potential attacks. "Somebody said there might be sniper fire," she said, adding tartly, "I don't remember anyone offering me tea on the tarmac."

Her remarks responded to Obama's comment Friday that his experience overseas was more relevant than hers. "It's that experience, that understanding, not just of what world leaders I went and talked to in the ambassador's house, who I had tea with, but understanding the lives of people like my grandmother, who lives in a tiny village in Africa," he said.

Speaking of sniper fire.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 29, 2007; 10:23 PM ET
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Posted by: unxa kefzxi | April 11, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: dzcsh hxuvdwq | April 11, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Ethanshattuck, although I can appreciate your appreciation of Senator Clinton's visit to you during a stressful time in your life the video records clearly show that she leisurely accepted flowers and greetings from a little girl upon her arrival to Bosnia. She is flat out lying and I simply can't tolerate that. First or all, dishonesty in and of itself is wrong and dangerous in a person who has been delegated power, secondly this particular untruth dishonors those who have truly shown courage and sacrifice. It diminishes the actions of persons such as yourself.

Posted by: georgedixon | March 30, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I was a Military Press Escort for the Clinton's Press Corps that day. I remember there being heightened security and rumors of feared sniper fire. It was standard for aircraft to make combat landings. She may be mistaken about some of the details, but she was a civillian in a very scary situation. It is common to make mistakes like that when under stress. She showed up, looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and Thanked me for my service to our country...and that carries a lot of weight with this Vet.

Posted by: ethanshattuck | March 28, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

How does Hillary's stint as White House First Hostess qualify or even prepare her to answer the red phone at 3 a.m., let alone to have something above average to say into it?

This whole "experience" thing she's trying to sell us on is a bunch of good old-fashioned hooey.

Posted by: poortrekker | March 11, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary had a rough landing in Bosnia why didn't it ever make the news. I do not recall any news talking about her rough landing in Bosnia.

But here is a news article that came out in 1997 about her tea ceremonies in Ireland.

Obama has done his homework. He is right when he said she was sipping tea with a bunch of ladies. Not only did she sip tea, the only reason she was there was to show the ladies her teapot and say "I use this every day in my private kitchen."

Now Madeline Albright saying that Hillary visited countries where the main drink was not tea, is a low blow. Some countries have different customs. And if Hillary didn't like their customs, she shouldn't have visited those countries. As tax payers we never elected Hillary as an ambassador. But she used tax payer money to roam around the world along with Chelsea.

And for her to complain that she was not offered tea while she landed in Bosnia, is despeckable.

If Hillary likes tea that much, we should just let her sit in her New York residence and sip all the tea she wants. But the white house is out of the question for Hillary.

Posted by: JohnMcCormick | January 1, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

statement from former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. "Senator Clinton has been in refugee camps, clinics, orphanages, and villages all around the world, including places where tea is not the usual drink. In addition to these experiences she has met with world leaders and has known many of them for years. I have been with her on many of these occasions, and it is this combination of experience and understanding that sets her apart from the field, and why I am supporting her for President."

Posted by: dyck21005 | December 30, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Experience counts and Hillary has had substantial experience through close involvement with the presidency and the experience of a second term Senator. She has the broad perspective to see what needs to be changed and the experience to do it. She doesn't just talk about the future, she has the experience to make it better

Posted by: dyck21005 | December 30, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

As first lady, Hillary Clinton had an unique opportunity to observe the give and take of Washington politics which only 43 men (presidents) and 42 women (first ladies) have had. Few first ladies have been better suited to use this opportunity than Hillary Clinton, except for, perhaps, Eleanor Roosevelt. She was able to meet and converse with world leaders and high level government officials from all over the world, learning how they thought and related to America's role in the world. Mrs. Clinton traveled to over 82 countries from South Africa, to China and India. She met both with government leaders in capitals and ordinary people in small rural villages. In Bangladesh she learned how the micro-loans programs started by Mohammad Yunus stimulated economic development and improved the lives of women and their families. She helped to spread word about micro-lending programs, even before Mr. Yunus became a Nobel laureate. In her travels, she was a strong advocate for human rights and, especially, women's rights, and she was very well received.

Posted by: dyck21005 | December 30, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Only people who have already been lured by Clinton actually believe this is a sexist remark. In fact, her campaign's insinuation that Obama meant tea is only for women is actually more insulting than he ever said.

Posted by: fox_qajgev | December 30, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

And a link to the Times' version of the story: Tea Time by Jeff Zeleny .

Posted by: jade_7243 | December 30, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

And in a direct jab back at Obama, she recalled visiting Bosnia on a plane that made a tight corkscrew landing to avoid potential attacks. "Somebody said there might be sniper fire," she said, adding tartly, "I don't remember anyone offering me tea on the tarmac."


From the NY Times (and similar story at the Ny Daily News) regarding that Bosnia trip:

"Hillary Rodham Clinton charmed American troops at a U.S.O. show here, but it didn't hurt that the singer Sheryl Crow and the comedian Sinbad were also on the stage.

In her appearance at Tuzla Air Base, the First Lady told a couple of thousand of the 19,300 Americans serving in Bosnia that they were using military power to advance United States interests and values. She said they were part of "the kind of peacekeeping mission every American should be proud of and support."

No, the "help" feeds at the craft service table. Read the rest of the story here: NY Times

This woman and her husband are pathological liars. A USO tour counts as "foreign policy experience."

Please Iowans come to your senses and vote for Barack Obama.

Posted by: jade_7243 | December 30, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I may be off line here and I usually do not post but I cannot take it any more. I am a African American voter. I have been looking for a reason to support Obama even though I love Mrs Clinton. Unfortunately I cannot support this guy. He is a wanna-be who is not ready for prime time. Just who does he think he is? He talks of change and conventional thinking and all he does is put down his party. Maybe he should join the Republican Party. He fits. He has no experience, he makes sexist comments about Mrs Clinton and has no record to speak of. Our goal should be to take the White House back and he is doing all he can to make sure we do not. The Republicans want him to be the nominee because they know that he has no chance to be President because of 1. He is black (suprise). 2. He has no record. 3. He has no experience. He does not inspire me at all. He is just like the rest of the politians, no different. I want a difference maker after 8 years of Bush. When I look back, the Clinton 8 years were not too bad. Good economy, balanced budget. no wars. This with a Republician congress. The more I here Obama speak. the more I think he should stay in the finish his senate term which by the way he only did one year of.

Posted by: liljfromva7 | December 30, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama made an incredibly sexist and snide remark, he ought to be nailed for it.

but the media gives him a bye,

Posted by: newagent99 | December 30, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I love how Hillary's supposed assertion that "she brought peace to Northern Ireland," is backed up with the quote: "I went to Northern Ireland more than my husband did." Am I somehow missing the connection that would in any way imply that one begets the other? Typically sensationalist reporting. Shame on Mr. Baker.

Posted by: rahaha | December 30, 2007 4:31 AM | Report abuse

It strikes me as un-American for us to assume that because Hillary is married to a former president, she is the best person for the job. Objective observation shows that she is not. Senator Obama's legislative and professional record, broad range of life experiences, consensus building style of leadership, and repeatedly validated foreign policy judgment show him to be the most intelligent, clear-headed, capable, principled and appropriately experienced candidate to lead the country.

Support for Hillary Clinton is driven primarily by the notion that because she is intelligent and because she has lived in the White House, she might be the best person for the job. This logic is not just false but utterly uninspired. Not all smart and politically talented people are fit for the Presidency. A successful president must be more than merely intelligent - a successful president must build consensus and inspire the American people to strive for national excellence.

Objectively speaking, Senator Obama is the complete package. He has intelligence in spades. He is what Bill Clinton might call 'a world-class genius.' But he is more than that - he is inspiring to the majority of the population - Republican and Democrat alike. He is more than just a skilled political player. He is a respected leader of American women and men of all races, creeds, and parties.

Its time to get off the Bush-Clinton merry-go-round. 24 years of chasing out tails in circles is far too long for our country. The future is now. Obama for President in '08.

Posted by: maq1 | December 30, 2007 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice that Bhutto's 19 year old son has been selected to lead her political party? Yes, you read that right -- a teenager.

The notion that someone close to those who have already been in power are the most suited to be the next in power is easy to buy into.. it is the idea behind a monarchy.

It is also the death of a vibrant democracy. Having spent time in the 3rd world, Hillary's candidacy seems very ominous to me, even though I like her personally.

Posted by: painintheass97 | December 30, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Oddly, Hillary Clinton was First Lady before obama passed the bar exam. Isn't that a funny stat?

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | December 30, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Well at least they're not going negative ;-)

Posted by: egc52556 | December 29, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

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