Secretary Clinton decided to spice up what was scheduled to be a routine swearing in of Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Hammer by wearing purple costume jewelry and wing-tipped purple and green sunglasses.
Amidst a room full of family, friends and colleagues, Clinton started her remarks by saying that the day was not only about Hammer but the color purple, well-known through-out the State Department as the assistant secretary's favorite color.
"Mike, I was in a real dilemma," joked Clinton. "I have pantsuits in nearly every color - except purple," she said as the crowd clapped and laughed.
Clinton then turned to Hammer's wife and daughters and said that since they were all in purple, she needed to be "appropriately attired" as well. The secretary of state proceeded to put on purple mardi gras beads and what she called her "piece de resistance," wing-tipped purple and green sunglasses.
Clinton took off the glasses during part of her very personal speech reflecting on Hammer and his record of public service at both the White House and the State Department. But when it came time to administer the actual oath, she put the glasses back on, looked at the crowd and gave a resounding "O.K.!" before turning to swear in the new assistant secretary of state .. . with Madam Secretary looking tres cool in her wing-tipped shades.