Hillary Docs: Many Overseas Trips Just Standard First Lady Tourist Fare

But docs fail to give details on Hillary's last days in the White House.


March 20, 2008— -- The release of 17,000 pages of then-first lady Hillary Clinton's daily schedule in the White House has raised questions about her ability to answer the 3 a.m. phone call she talks about in her commercials.

"Maybe because I have had the great honor and privilege of seeing that really hard job up close that I know that there is a big difference between speeches and solutions and talk and action," Sen. Clinton said in her commercials before the Texas and Ohio primaries.

But the daily schedules released today show many of her overseas trips to be the standard first lady tourist fare, hospital visits and blinis with caviar.

On the day U.S. cruise missiles hit Serbia, the schedules show the former first lady was touring Egyptian ruins.

On the day when her husband announced attacks against al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, the schedules show she stayed in Martha's Vineyard on vacation.

Last week, Clinton insisted she played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace talks, saying "I wasn't sitting at the negotiating table, but the role I played was instrumental."

But, according to her White House schedule, while Catholic and Protestant leaders were locked in final negotiations on the terms of their power-sharing agreement in Belfast, Clinton was at the National Press Club in Washington at a "Hats On For Bella" party in honor of late Congresswoman Bella Abzug on April 9, 1998.

And while President Clinton was making last-minute phone calls to the major players in the peace talks that afternoon, she was meeting with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and the Park Service Foundation.

On the day the agreement was signed, April 10, 1998, she had a private meeting with Philippine first lady Amelita Ramos in the White House's Yellow Oval room.

"They need to be a lot more open. We need to see memoranda of conversations; we need to see decision memos," Sally Bedell Smith, author of "For Love of Politics – Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years" and contributing editor to "Vanity Fair," told ABC News of the schedules.

The documents also fail to shed light on the most controversial of the eight years the Clintons were in the White House.

On Dec. 7, 2000, the former first lady's schedule lists all private White House meetings with no names attached.

It was the very time her two brothers and others were trying to broker pardons for convicted drug dealers and billionaire fugitive Marc Rich.

"We're not seeing the dark side of the moon," Smith said. "We're not seeing those meetings that she had in private with key people, with contributors, with people that were seeking to influence certain policies. That seems to be entirely absent."

The released documents also bring back reminders of scandal, as was previously reported on the Blotter on ABCNews.com earlier today.

On the day her husband was having oral sex with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, the schedule shows the first lady was at the White House most, if not all of the day, and spent the night there.

On the day she testified before a federal grand jury investigating the Whitewater land deal, in January 1996, her official calendar says simply, "No Public Schedules."

A Clinton campaign spokesman says the release of the documents shows the transparency of Sen. Clinton, and the released schedules are only "an outline" and do not reflect "meetings with staff and officials, impromptu strategy sessions" or a call to a world leader.

ABC News' Marcus Baram contributed to this report.

This report has been updated.

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