But this was the second cocktail party I've been to with Mrs. Clinton and I can tell you that her knowledge and grasp of foreign policy is impressive. She knows the issues and she knows the people involved in the issues. It's fascinating to listen to her. You may disagree with her politics, but she works tirelessly to advance the foreign policy goals of the United States, and to fight for the rights of women and oppressed minorities around the world.
While I can't report what is said at the cocktail party, we talk about a wide range of issues, usually centered on the trip, but also including Syria and US politics. The off the record sessions give her a chance to open up a little more. And she loves talking foreign policy. Even though everyone was tired, this session went on for an hour.
So I sleep for three hours and make it to Angkor Wat to see the sunrise over the temple. I thought our little group would have the place to ourselves. Wrong. There were over a thousand people there at 5 a.m.. The entrance looked like the ticket gate at Disney World.
It's certainly an impressive sight when the sun comes up over the temple. We take our pictures and then walk inside the temple to see more. On the way back I decided to take a tuk tuk, an open air taxi. Some guy on a moped pulls a carriage that can take up to four passengers. The cost for the 15 minute ride is $2 per person.
Now our focus turns from Asia to Middle East peace. We're on our way to Cairo to meet with the newly elected President Morsi. It's a beautiful sunny day flying into Cairo. But I must say the view is not impressive. There is no color. Everything looks beige, the color of sand.
Mrs. Clinton has her meetings with Egyptian government officials and then we go to our hotel where we find an anti-Clinton demonstration by a group of very vocal and noisy Christians. It's surprising to see a demonstration against Mrs. Clinton, who is seems to be universally liked abroad.
But these Christians feel the US has taken sides with the Muslims in the Egyptian elections and the Christians are going get sold out. It's a loud demonstration but non violent and no one is fazed by it.
The next day, en route to the port city of Alexandria to reopen the US consulate, I sense something is not right. The security agents on the plane are putting on small flak jackets under their shirts. I can't understand why flak jackets would be needed in Alexandria. Then about 20 minutes before we land, the State Department press handler with us announces they have fewer vehicles available for the motorcade. Some staff and press would have to wait on the plane.
This too doesn't make sense. This stop was planned well in advance, why wouldn't they have enough cars for the motorcade? When we got into the motorcade the situation became more evident.
The motorcade was made up entirely of armored cars. That's why they had fewer vehicles available. So now we're headed to Alexandria in armored cars with our security agents wearing flak jackets. Does someone want to tell us what's going on?
It turned out there were demonstrators outside the consulate, the same noisy group of people who feel the US is siding with the Muslims. They had to move the reopening ceremony from the outside courtyard to the inside main hall. We get into the consulate without any problems. We can hear the demonstrators but we can't see them on the other side of the building.