Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is our third female Secretary of State, the first ever to have been a First Lady, a U.S.Senator, and a strong Presidential candidate prior to taking command at Foggy Bottom. She swept in with a new arsenal of diplomatic tools she dubbed “smart power” and included Special Envoys to critical regions, purposeful outreach to populations in countries she visits, including TV and radio interviews, “Townterviews,” visits to venues like markets, schools, factories, and, in dealing with her ministerial hosts and visitors, flirting. Now Maddie Albright was something of a flirt as SOS (Condi was not), but no one has used this particular diplomatic instrument quite as effectively (or entertainingly) as our current top diplomat.
Her clumsy primary campaign managers thought, it seemed, that de-sexing her was a necessity in order make her seem presidential. They did not exactly succeed, but now that she is out of that arena, she is clearly all re-sexed up. She flirts openly and unabashedly, is extremely good at it, and uses it to great diplomatic advantage. It was bound to gain notice, and it has with the advance internet posting of Jonathan Van Meter’s very nice article about her in the December issue of Vogue magazine. Here is the passage that has caused a volcanic eruption of gossipy feeds across the interwebs.
I was also happy to see her taking delight in a favorite new colleague, David Miliband, the tall and dashing 44-year-old British foreign secretary. When I mentioned to her over lunch that I had spoken with him, she lit up. “Oh, my God!” I joked that I got a crush over the phone in about five seconds partly because of his accent, and she said, “Well, if you saw him it would be a big crush. I mean, he is so vibrant, vital, attractive, smart. He’s really a good guy. And he’s so young!”
For his part, Miliband seems smitten, too. “She applies intellect but also psychology to the dossiers that she’s studying. She uses her experience in a very impressive way. She brings it to bear in a way that enriches a conversation but doesn’t swamp it. She learns from history without being trapped by it. I think it’s also important to say that she’s delightful to deal with one on one. She’s someone who laughs and can tease, and she’s got perspective as well.”
You have noted, of course, that it was Jonathan and not Hillary who claimed to have a crush. Hillary, for her part, encourages his crush, fans the flames with additional information, but she does not say she has a crush. I am not saying she does not, but she did not say she did, so let’s get that straight right. What I like about this little conversation is that Jonathan felt so comfortable saying that to Hillary. It validates what I said back on June 3 (Sit! Stay! Under the Porch!) when Hillary not only preempted the POTUS with her Gay Pride Month message, but put her money where her mouth was (having charmed extra bucks from Congress for her 2010 budget) and came back to the issue raised in February regarding benefits for domestic partners of State Department employees with an affirmative response. Essentially she said that they had looked into it, and yes, they could and would do it. That was Hillary, following through.
At the time, I began seeing passionate love tweets about Hillary on Twitter and the tweeters were all young, handsome guys. Until I followed a link, I did not really catch it. They were young gay guys loving Hillary for according recognition of their right to be equal. On one site, I saw some expressions of regret for not having supported her since her actions were speaking volumes that words never could.
Well, back to Jonathan and his “crush,” and I am only guessing here, he called David Miliband to get some background for the article, and that made sense. David and Hillary obviously have a great rapport, and David speaks English. I have the impression that Hillary’s reaction was about the idea that Jonathan would go so far as to contact the U.K. Foreign Minister for a story about her. It took the romantic turn because of Jonathan’s remark.
Now all that having been said, has Hillary flirted with David? Of course! I don’t think there is a male head of state or foreign minister with whom she has not flirted. It’s one of her big guns. It is why he said she’s a tease. Quite frankly, after fighting off such dark shadowy Tales from the Darkside as I have for months on this blog, I find this little flurry of light gossip a relief. Hillary in the news for being sexy? Yeah, I can deal with that. When was the last time a Secretary if State kept you this entertained?
Oh the world problems are still there, and they are serious, and she has to deal with them, but sometimes you just need to flip to the Lifetime Channel for an afternoon. It gives everything perspective.
Does Hillary have a crush? I don’t really think so. Does she flirt? Whoa! Does she!
Here are a few versions of the “crush” story. No, I am not perpetrating it. You have seen more of these than I.
Hillary Clinton’s Lighter Side
‘Tease’ Hillary Clinton gushes over ‘crush’ on British Foreign Minister
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