And We Thought Biden Was the Gaffe Machine [Greg Pollowitz]
Here's Hillary Clinton showcasing the brilliance of the State Department's translators while meeting with European leaders in Geneva:
GENEVA — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened her first meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by giving him a present meant to symbolize the Obama administration’s vow to “press the reset button” on U.S.-Russia relations.
She handed a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift — a red button on a black base with a Russian word peregruzka printed on top.
“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked.
“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said.
Instead of reset, Lavrov said the word on the box meant “overcharge.”
Clinton and Lavrov laughed.
“We won’t let you do that to us,” she said. Trying to recover, Clinton said the new administration was serious about improving relations with Moscow. “We mean it, and we’re looking forward to it.”
More funnies from her European tour:
Tiredness appeared to show Friday when she answered questions in front of 500 young Europeans at the European Parliament, where she was the highest-ranking U.S. visitor since the late President Ronald Reagan in 1985.
A veteran politician, Clinton compared the complex European political environment to that of the two-party U.S. system, before adding:
"I have never understood multiparty democracy.
"It is hard enough with two parties to come to any resolution, and I say this very respectfully, because I feel the same way about our own democracy, which has been around a lot longer than European democracy."
The remark provoked much headshaking in the parliament of a bloc that likes to trace back its democratic tradition thousands of years to the days of classical Greece.
One working lunch later with EU leaders, Clinton raised more eyebrows when she referred to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who stood beside her, as "High Representative Solano."
She also dubbed European Commission External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner as "Benito."
Imagine if President Bush had done this? Media madness would have ensued.
03/06 01:55 PMShare