Transcript: Sebelius, Specter and Hatch

KORNBLUT: Well, and, in fact, I think we've reported out that there was no mistranslation, that she was asked about her husband. The reporters who were there said it was very hot. She was very tired, so maybe her demeanor is not the one she would have wanted, but that the underling sentiment, that she's the secretary of state, is one that she intended to convey, especially in a region of the world that is so male-dominated.

But these incidents are kind of bigger than that. It's sort of the perfect encapsulation of the burden of being Hillary Clinton, that you are seen in relation to your husband wherever you go, not just by the media, but by the world, and asked questions about him.

And it reminded me a lot of the campaign, when she was seen in relation to him and having to respond and trying to be her own person. But it also raises the question of what kind of secretary of state she's going to be and if she's going to be able to harness the celebrity, which, of course, is the reason we're all talking about it, you know, to a larger purpose.

Some people, when this whole incident happened, said to me, "You know, she looks kind of like a first lady on this trip. She's out there. She's been gone 11 days, 7 countries. She's away from the center of action here."

So I suspect we may see some shorter trips from her, ones where she's not going to get as tired when she's on the road. But at the end of the day, I think her -- again, the underlining sentiment, is one that certainly the White House and she defend, that she had the right to say that.

TAPPER: Donna, school me. What should we -- what should we have been covering on -- on the news?

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, we're using the wrong metric to judge her performance. This is a very serious secretary of state who, I believe, did a lot of good in Africa, not only in renewing old ties, but also broadening our reach in certain countries that the United States clearly needs to engage, Angola, for example, with their vast commodities.

But more important -- and I know how she might have come across to some people, that she was not diplomatic -- but, you know, she was in the Congo, in the east Congo, where women are basically being raped, there's genital mutilization, there's a lot of gender violence. And, you know, if she showed a little bit of emotion, so be it.

BROWNSTEIN: You know, also, I mean, this was like President Obama's speech in Ghana. She said this was a tough-love message for Africa, and in some ways that was the overriding point of this trip, and I think continuing a policy tone that he set.

I would say, though, this is what -- what you saw -- the focus on the gaffe is the downside of the upside of her -- of her -- of her position as secretary of state. She is a global celebrity.

And we saw in the coverage that she was extraordinarily public on these trips. She was not only engaged in private diplomacy; she was engaged in public diplomacy. She can do that because of her celebrity. And part of the cost of celebrity, as we're talking about with Sarah Palin, is that, when you say something that isn't quite right, you get disproportionate attention to it.

She has to live with that as the cost of what is undeniably a benefit, her ability to engage not only leaders and elites, but publics around the world, because of the media attention she can attract not only here, but everywhere she goes.

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