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Hillary Clinton: The legend of the secretary of cool continues to grow

By Brian Braiker, The Guardian
Monday, April 16, 2012 20:16 EDT
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Hillary Clinton via AFP
 
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She works hard; she plays hard.

We already knew the former. Now we know secretary of state Hillary Clinton can throw down just as enthusiastically as a young Hill staffer.

Clinton was photographed taking a hearty swig from a beer bottle, shaking some maracas and generally letting loose on a dancefloor sometime around 1am Monday at La Havana, a bar in Cartegena, Colombia.

The late night bar hop lasted only about 30 minutes and photographs show Clinton in a decidedly carefree mood – all smiles in all black. Her entourage’s tab included a dozen beers, two whiskeys and several bottles of water.

No prostitutes, though.

The photos of a partying secretary of state would seem fun and innocuous enough in a regular news cycle, but this is no regular news cycle. Clinton’s carefree evening came as the Obama administration was seeking to contain fallout from a secret service prostitution scandal the day before, also in Colombia.

Still, Clinton herself has so far remained above the callgirl conundrum. And the latest pictures of her are just more fuel for an image that couldn’t be hotter for a career bureaucrat. (Henry Kissinger was arguably the last secretary of state who was known to live it up a little but it’s a bit hard to get over that creepster factor.)

Indeed, Madame Secretary’s rep got a major boost last week when a picture by TIME photographer Diana Walker went viral. In the picture, Clinton is checking her BlackBerry aboard a military plane, wearing a dark pair of shades. It captured something about Clinton’s very essence: she is confident, cool, powerful and serious.

And it became the inspiration for the tumblr Texts from Hillary.

In case you haven’t been online in the past month, the blog features pictures of other celebrities and politicians on their smartphones writing made-up texts to the secretary. Those photos are juxtaposed against Clinton’s, as the secretary delivers a conversation-stopping putdown or prop. Example: Ryan Gosling to Clinton: “Hey girl …” Clinton’s reply: “Madame Secretary.”

The blog, which was admirably shut down at the height of its popularity, touched such a chord that Clinton herself submitted a “text from Hillary” to the blog’s creators. “ROFL @ ur Tumblr! g2g – Scrunchie time. ttyl?” she, or more likely, a staffer, wrote proving she was in on the joke, down with it and fluent in internetese.

The newer pics from Colombia, which rival the Walker photograph in viral potential, were taken and the end of a long day. Clinton had earlier met with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos Calderón and his wife Maria Clemencia Rodriguez.

But all work and no play makes Hill a dull gal. And dull is one thing she isn’t. Now let’s get to work on Drunk Texts from Hillary, internet!

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012

 
 
 
 
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