Bill grabs spotlight from Hillary
But the former U.S. president has dominated the news since he turned up in North Korea seeking the release of two American journalists, while Hillary Clinton headed to Africa for her first major trip there as the top U.S. diplomat.
Secretary of State Clinton stayed out of sight from reporters traveling with her on the 15-hour flight to Kenya. Her staff said she would not comment on her husband’s mission to Pyongyang, which the White House billed as private.
“While the mission is in progress, we will have no comment. Our interest here is the successful completion of the mission and the safe return of the journalists,” said a senior U.S. official traveling with her.
There has been talk in the State Department for weeks over who to send to North Korea to see leader Kim Jong-il and try to free the reporters.
Most bets were on the other Bill — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — or Clinton’s vice president Al Gore. The reporters — Euna Lee and Laura Ling — worked for Gore’s California-based media outlet Current TV.
Reuters photo by Thomas Mukoya ( Hillary Clinton greeted by Kenya’s foreign minister in Nairobi on Aug. 4)