The photos are here in case you missed them elsewhere, and here’s the obligatory pun-tastic New York Post cover. Two camps on this one: Team Gardiner, which thinks she’s an embarrassment for cutting loose publicly in a way no other SoS would, and Team Fleischer, which thinks everyone should mellow out about an adult having a drink with staffers after work. I’m on Team Fleischer. The problem with the “beneath the dignity of the office” argument, I think, is that, like it or not, she’s not just any Secretary of State. She’s Hillary!, the rare SoS whose political stature exceeds that of the office. The public will cut her slack on this that it wouldn’t cut, say, Warren Christopher because they know Christopher only through his official role whereas they’ve known Hillary as First Lady, Senator, presidential candidate, feminist icon, and now chief diplomat for 20 years. She’s familiar in a way few apparatchiks are so it’s easier to relate to the human side of her. Frankly, I don’t even think of her as taking official trips when she’s jetting off to see some foreign leader in Europe or the Middle East or South America or wherever. She and Bill have known all of those people for years and could get a meeting with them even without the State Department’s imprimatur. Go figure that she thinks she’ll get a little slack for a half hour of light partying in Colombia.
If you want to feel embarrassed about a diplomatic gaffe — assuming the pathetic Secret Service scandal hasn’t already given you your fill — here’s O trying to talk about the Falklands. Emphasis on “trying”:
President Obama erred during a speech at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, when attempting to call the disputed archipelago by its Spanish name.
Instead of saying Malvinas, however, Mr Obama referred to the islands as the Maldives, a group of 26 atolls off that lie off the South coast of India…
Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president, has renewed her country’s sovereignty claim to the Falklands in the build-up to the 30th anniversary of the Argentine invasion of the islands, which triggered the Falklands War, on April 2…
“This is something in which we would not typically intervene,” he said, adding that there should be dialogue between the UK and Argentina even though the Coalition refuses to negotiate sovereignty of the Falklands with Mrs Kirchner’s government.
Never mind the silly error in confusing the names. Why is O encouraging Argentina’s irredentism by using the Argentinian name for the islands and specifying that the U.S. won’t take sides? Isn’t the “special relationship” special once again? What about the basketball game?