Tales from the Trail

Clinton doesn’t want Iran taking ‘one iota of credit’ for Mideast revolutions

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says when it comes to the pro-democracy movements sweeping through the Middle East give credit where credit is due. And that means not to Iran.

The United States has long been at loggerheads with Iran over its nuclear program — the West suspects Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, Iran says it is trying to provide energy for its people. USA/

Now the United States, which sees Iran as a major threat to the region,  is also suspicious that Tehran is trying to capitalize on the Middle East revolutions.

“We see Iran trying to take advantage of what is going on, which is the height of hypocrisy, but that has never stopped the regime before,” Clinton said. “And what they are doing is trying to somehow connect their failed revolution in 1979 with the movements for aspiration and change that are now moving through the region.”

The United States has a lot of friends in the region, she said at the State Department in a conversation with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger moderated by Charlie Rose which will be broadcast later Wednesday on PBS.

Clinton jokes about Yemen stumble

Call it the Trip.

USA-YEMEN/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wrapping up a high-stakes trip to Yemen to discuss counter-terrorism cooperation on Wednesday, stumbled briefly upon re-entering her airplane. Clinton was unhurt and newswise it was a non-event — except that it was captured by television cameras.

Clinton’s video misstep ended up going out on YouTube and became a minor Internet sensation, prompting snarky headlines from some of the world’s headline writers (“Unexpected trip on Clinton plane!” joked one).

It’s the kind of pointless fingerpointing that public figures (and sometimes journalists) loathe because it distracts from real news, in this case Clinton’s effort to broaden the U.S. relationship with Yemen, which is gaining notoreity as one of the world’s main incubators of al Qaeda.

Hillary Clinton stops to see Bill’s statue in Kosovo

Hillary Clinton stopped on Bill Clinton Boulevard to view one of Kosovo’s main attractions: the Bill Clinton Statue.

Clinton, on her first visit to Kosovo as secretary of state, on Wednesday received a rapturous welcome from the crowd waving U.S. flags and cheering on the Clinton Brand, which many Kosovars see as key to their country’s independence.

KOSOVO/Clinton stopped and looked up at Bill — now 12 feet high and a shimmering gold — and expressed her satisfaction with the likeness.

Hillary Clinton for Justice?

NUCLEAR-SUMMIT/Would Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trade her globetrotting ways for the distinguished black robe of a Supreme Court Justice?

The Washington parlor game is in full swing over who President Barack Obama will pick to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

In the middle of it all, Clinton’s name was very publicly, and quite intriguingly, thrown into the mix this morning  — by a Republican.

When seen from Capitol Hill, Jerusalem looks a bit different

ISRAEL-USA/What’s the U.S. policy toward Israel? It may depend on which branch of government you ask.

On Capitol Hill, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got a warm reception during his Washington visit this week. Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, says Congress is on “a different page” than the Obama administration over Jewish settlements in Jerusalem and the overall U.S. relationship with Israel.

Netanyahu got a less obviously effusive welcome from the Obama administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met him at a hotel on Monday and his White House meeting with the president on Tuesday took place behind closed doors, without photographers present.

Clinton open to coffee with Palin

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is open to having coffee with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whose new book about the 2008 presidential campaign is stirring controversy.

“I absolutely would look forward to having coffee,” Clinton said from Singapore  Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Clinton told ABC’s “This Week” that she would look forward to having a chance to actually get to meet Palin.

The First Draft: Gripes and Goblins

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton griping about Pakistan while in Pakistan. PAKISTAN USA/

She says it was “hard to believe” that no one in Pakistan’s government knew where al Qaeda leaders were hiding. She talked about her tough talk in a series of morning television interviews, and said on CNN “trust is a two-way street.”

Top military brass coming over to the White House this afternoon. President Barack Obama meets with the military Joint Chiefs of Staff on Afghanistan and Pakistan this afternoon in the Situation Room (so you know it’s important).

Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are also down to attend the meeting where they are all expected to go over recommendations on troop strength and strategy.

How Hillary got the nod

Hillary Clinton was walking with her husband Bill in a nature preserve near their home in New York when the cellphone in his pocket started ringing. RUSSIA-CLINTON/

It was five or six days after the November election that Barack Obama won after defeating her for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Instead of turning the phone off while strolling through nature, Clinton’s husband, the former president, answered it.

The First Draft: Hillary Clinton marginalized? If you have to ask…

IRISH/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent the weekend in Switzerland and Ireland, but landed on the morning talk shows on Monday, fending off questions about whether she has been marginalized in the Obama administration. It’s not considered a good sign when people start asking this question in Washington, because the implication is that the answer is “yes.”

Clinton had no comment when newscaster Ann Curry on  NBC’s “Today” program asked whether she should be more visible on such hot-button issues as Iran and Afghanistan. But she responded fully when asked about concerns that the “highest-ranking woman in the United States needs to fight against being marginalized.”

“I find it absurd, I find it beyond any realistic assessment of what I’m doing every day,” Clinton said. “I believe in delegating power. I’m not one of those people who feels like I have to have my face in the front of the newspaper or on the TV every moment of the day. It would be irresponsible and negligent were I to say, ‘Oh no, everything must come to me!’”