Lost in Translation: Clinton Says She, Not Bill, is the Secretary of State

Aug 10, 2009 3:29pm

ABC News’ Kirit Radia reports: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost her cool Monday after a Congolese student, speaking through a translator, asked her what “Mr. Clinton” thought about a Chinese trade deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?” Clinton replied, clearly irked by the thought of being her husband Bill’s spokeswoman.
“My husband is not secretary of state, I am,” she replied. “If you want my opinion I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.” The only problem? Apparently the translator made a mistake and the student had wanted to know what President Obama thought of the deal. A State Department official tells ABC News the student went up to Clinton after the event and told her he was misquoted. No immediate word yet how Clinton responded. Regardless of the error, the notion of Secretary Clinton’s deference to her husband clearly touched a nerve with America’s top diplomat. Just a week ago the former President stole his wife’s thunder when he appeared in North Korea to rescue two American journalists detained there. His trip came just as Secretary Clinton embarked on a swing through Africa she hoped would shine light on the plight of the continent. Still, imagine what the students thought when her response was translated back and they heard Clinton call President Obama her husband….

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