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Saturday, September 21, 2013

"No Ugly or Fat People on the Rope Line!" Remembering a Visit by Hillary Clinton

The Place: Panama.
The Date: 1997.
The Event: Visit by First Lady Hillary Clinton to attend the Conference of Spouses of Heads of State and Government in the Americas (AKA, First Ladies of the Americas Summit).
Holding the Bag: The Diplomad

It's Saturday, and my dog is waiting for his driving lessons. I will make this short and mean spirited.


He needs some work on shifting from first to second; still a bit choppy, spills my coffee 


I was reminded of the above event in Panama by a news story out a couple of days ago reporting on a Hillary Clinton event in Miami. It seems that her security personnel seized the camera from a member of audience and deleted a picture taken of her. It reminded me of the sort of demands we got from Hillary's staff.

First Lady of the USA (FLOTUS) Hillary Rodham Clinton was coming to Panama to participate in the First Ladies of the Americas Summit. The Embassy, of course, got tasked with working with FLOTUS staff to prepare her visit. Yours truly, at the time, Minister Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs, got tagged with taking the point in dealing with that staff.

Her staff proved unbelievably arrogant and ignorant. They had zero interest in Panama, and only went along to see some sites because they had to do so. We had been told FLOTUS wanted activities after the "summit" that would strengthen US-Panama relations. The staff had no interest in the long US-Panamanian relationship, had no interest in the Canal, or in the very well run Panama Canal Museum.  In the end, they decided that FLOTUS should do "something with Indians, you know, Indians." They decided that she should have a photo-op at an Indian village reading to the kids and telling them about the importance of an education. The whole silly thing nearly came off the rails when the staff insisted that FLOTUS have secure telephone communication everywhere she went, including in the Indian village.  I remember asking one staffer, "Why does she need secure commo? Is she going to be calling in the B-52s?" That did not endear me to the staffers, but in the end they had to give up the demand because of cost.

We set up an absurd visit to a semi-fake Indian village just outside of the capital. Her people decided that the village, located in the jungle, did not look "jungly enough." They went and rented huge numbers of big plants and had them trucked into the village to make it look more "jungly" for the video of Hillary reading to Indian kids.

Now, what reminded me of all this when I read about her security grabbing a camera in Miami? FLOTUS staff made it clear to us, and the Secret Service agents confirmed, that Hillary did not want anybody getting closer than ten feet to her -- including her security--and that nobody should ask for autographs. I took offense at that, and noted to her staffer, "Our people are professionals. They see a lot of celebrities. Nobody is going to ask for an autograph."

Well the visit happened; Hillary decided to have a "rope line" at the airport so that as she was leaving she could shake hands with some of the people from the Embassy who had made her visit possible. A female staffer approached me the day before, and sheepishly began talking about the "sort of people" Hillary wanted in her pictures. She said that the pictures should have a "certain look." She kept beating about the bush re the rope line, and suddenly a light went on in my dim brain, "She doesn't want fat or ugly people in her pictures, right?" The staffer nodded. I said, "OK, I'll be sure to pass that on."

Of course, I didn't, but I did make sure one old ugly guy was not at the departure ceremony, me.

OK, more serious stuff a bit later on.

45 comments:

  1. Wow. Interesting and informative!

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  2. So in 2016, if we flood all HRC's campaign events with fat, ugly people do you think she'll give up and go away?

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    Replies
    1. She'll blend right in . . . . meow!

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    2. Shouldn't that be .... bark!

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  3. I keep watching TV coverage of President Obama telling us why we should be grateful and bow down. Or why Republicans are bad.

    Behind him in every scene, of course, is a bunch of people who are clearly trotted out to make it look like people really want to hear what the President has to say from behind. (That's where he leads from, after all.) And I keep hoping that one -- just one brave soul -- would make a big and slow show of picking his/her nose. It would drive the staff bananas, and that's the kind of republic we have these days. (A banana one.) (With apologies to your Panamanian friends).

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  4. Funny! Does your dog drive a stick or just fetch one if he feels so inclined?

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    Replies
    1. I am giving up on him getting that 1st to 2nd down smoothly. He doesn't keep the RPMs up and that is driving me crazy. I've told him, he spills my coffee once more and he's off to one of those PETA kill shelters.

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    2. Georgeous dog, DM! I love him, and haven't even met him. I tried to teach my dog to drive, but she's too small. We would have needed to get her a buddy to get on the floor to work the pedals, so that didn't work out. Heck... she needs a booster seat to just see out. Oh well...

      Mamapajamas (owned by a Maltese)

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    3. He's a great dog. Still suffering some PTSD-type issues from his former life, but seems on the mend.

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    4. Mamapajamas, see below. Owned by two Maltese.

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  5. Story from a AF EOD guy. He was on loan to the SS at an event, HRC told him to bus a table, he told her it wasn't his job. She tried to derail his career, but his CO prevented it. What a bitch.

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    Replies
    1. The progessives, ah crap, Commies , are all the same . McGovern's family did it to our little EOD team in 1972 . Got all hostile when we explained to them that we did not haul their damn luggage.

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    2. They decided that she should have a photo-op at an Indian village reading ... The whole silly thing nearly came off the rails when the staff insisted that FLOTUS have secure telephone communication everywhere she. ... I remember asking one staffer, "Why does she need secure commo?

      Apparently - given the, (cough .. cough) Sniper Fire

      it was simply a matter betwixt what State calls "commo" and Mil calls "comms."

      As I see all that Congress has spent so much time on, it didn't have to be this way.

      Diplomad Comment of:

      November 23, 2012 at 1:58 AM

      … things not as should've been. [No US Marines] Had it been a regular thing, security should've been provided by Triple Canopy but, apparently Blue Mountain [UK - contracting Libyans] was doing the stuff.

      …figuring the Benghazi area was not to ever come to the attention of the US public-at-large. If forced to provide a guess, it'd be AQIM with a few AQAP guys providing the tactical.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      …the Truth will come out - be "about" 15, maybe 20 years. …thinking have to wait until a few guys retire. …

      Until then … the hypothetical Benghazi was primarily an Agency op funneling arms to (most likely) Syria, … hypothesizing further, during the confusion of “get rid of” [Gaddafi] some of those [arsenals] facilitated by McCain, Graham Liebermann, Obama et al some of the former operators noted in the Sinjar Files, took a sizeable portion of those same weapons stockpiles which were then turned on us in Benghazi. … Some portion of the weapons travelled … to places like Mali …

      All this stuff about this "Aftermath of Libya Cluster**k" being various versions of "Dumbass [which I don't disagree with] Barack Hussein Obama's fault is just another example of "Orphan."

      Sorry. I didn't proofread.

      Arkie



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  6. See? She's a perfect successor to Obama! Not only is she another Alinskyite, but she has a comparable ego and people skills, too!

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  7. Well, here’s a photo that well might have been what she didn't want seen, courtesy of our friends over at the zip, and the Miami Herald,

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/09/20/hillarys-security-grab-phone-of-man-who-dared-take-picture-of-her-deletes-picture/

    'Frankly my dears', ‘She might have had wrinkles out of place’, 'what difference at this point does it make anyway?' more or less said Zip, and one might observe: A picture that shows a masculine, worn out, and worst of all, cold bitter angry individual! I trimmed off the bad parts, of that latter observation, for a bit better taste here.

    What is scary with that look, is to think of the people in the Foreign Service who became out of her favor, and the giant pack of global wolves she could throw people to. This photo is so revealing of her, along with Dip’s revealing comments, I wonder if Chris Stevens had done something to earn him horrible 'sacrificial lamb' disfavor and status to become an alleged blind sheik 'morsi arranged' hostage swap victim? It is sounding more likely. How do you select one to throw to the ‘gators of the levant?

    Memory was that in spite of Stevens’ 'all praises' media fog as a dedicated FS individual, he was replaced/placed there only a few weeks/months prior to his tragic end, as they were removing the higher security forces that had earlier surrounded the venue, laying it open to convenient easier attack.
    Jack

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  8. BTW, love the picture, Dip, obviously dog is well trained and experienced in running photo cover for the 'big guy', even if a bit challenged at switching gears! Give 'em time, he'll get it.
    Jack

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    Replies
    1. I think he might have lived in the UK before. Seems to want to sit on the wrong side of the car.

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    2. The dog, handsome beast that he is, is sitting in the driver's seat for the civilized part of the world, Australia and New Zealand. And before the storm of protest starts just who is it that now have conservative governments?

      Seriously Hillary makes Hannibal Lechter look cuddly.

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    3. David from Oz, now now :) :). Don't rub it in.

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    4. We have to put up with it from the Aussies. They are the kings of the Anglosphere right now . . . all we have is Obama and Putin.

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    5. Ahemmmmm.........kings of the anglosphere".

      Canada have been trying to school the african king for many years now, we welcome any assistance Australia can bring, though I fear the effort is futile.

      As to Hildebeest, it takes a village to feed an ego. What colour pantsuit were you priveleged to witness?

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    6. Sorry Whitewall. The devil made me do it. Chin up mate, things will get better for you. We had to go through six years of socialist pain before sanity returned so hopefully it will be the same for you in the US. My apologies Cascadian you also have a conservative national government do you not? But you do drive on the wrong side of the road as I have found from personal experience visiting beautiful BC. :)

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    7. David from Oz, our government is kinda conservative, as conservative as you can be in these days of low information voters, voting for benefits.

      As for the correct side of road for driving on, that would be the side where oncoming traffic is NOT. When the roads are icy and the latest batch of immigrants (or, ahem visitors) with no skills of such conditions are about, that could be either side, we are adaptable that way.

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  9. I have adopted and fostered many rescued dogs, and the two things which really work to get them past the PTSD are patience and changing the association. Changing the association is especially easy to do with food-motivated dogs. I don't know why so many people insist on a puppy; older dogs are much easier to train and work with. Thank you for choosing a rescue, and best wishes to you both.

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  10. Enforce the rule 'no ugly or fat people' on both sides of the rope line and I see no problem...

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    Replies
    1. Depends on you definition of ugly.

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    2. Yes it does... Yes it does.

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  11. THIS.... is why I read your blog.
    Great stuff! Shepards are great dogs, trade ya for my huskies...

    - Reader #1482

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  12. Nice shepherd. My Maltese would have eaten him as an appetizer. They could drive quite well with our automatic transmission. Franz would steer, Hanz worked the pedals. They didn't like driving because they didn't like the wireless earpiece comm devices they had to wear so Hanz would know when to brake and accelerate.

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    1. LOL! Yup... Malt's have absolutely NO clue how small they are! My little girl thinks she's a big, bad Doberman, and will challenge any large dog that comes within "her" territory. The little dogs she just plays with. :) For those not familiar with the breed, Malts average 5-8 pounds. Mine is a 6-pounder. When I give her a bath, all that hair gets plastered down to her skin and she turns into a chihuahua. :)

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  13. paul_vincent_zecchinoSeptember 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Throughout the 90s, stories circulated about this one bullying Secret Service agents by quoting the late Frank Booth, "Don't you look at me!"

    Their vindictiveness toward the press and citizens first in Arkansas then nationally was well reported, but not by the marxstream media.

    Most impressive video was that which circulated about the time of Benghazi, with this one bouncing around a dance floor in South Africa, sweaty, hair greaszy, swilling beer from a bottle.

    Yours is in fact a serious piece as it penetrates political arguments to serve as a PET-Scan of the individual. Prognosis: grave; for the nation, should this one advance.

    Thank you for adopting your beautiful pup and giving him a forever home. Tried to train our greyhounds to drive with limited success, the turn signals really flummoxed them.

    How is he with the Kimber? Might it not be prudent to ensure he's proficient with it, for protection of vehicle and occupants?

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    1. He's ok right-pawed, but needs some work on his left-paw action. Mixes up the safety with the magazine release. I don't know what to do with him . . .

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    2. paul_vincent_zecchinoSeptember 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Diplomad -

      Agree. It's tough working within others' limits.

      A long time friend and superb gunsmith kindly suggested an ambidextrous safety. He cautioned, however, against expecting Maxie to field-strip it, as it likely likely press our Dobie-Shepherd cross beyond design limits.

      Sometimes they have an easier time with a revolver...

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    3. Yeah, and I have given up on the black powder rifle. He's all thumbs and very messy; half the powder ends up on the ground.

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  14. I live my foreign-service-career-that-never-was vicariously through your stories.
    Got any Kenya stories?
    (The temptation must be great for a gag like: This one time, while stationed in Nairobi, this couple paid me to falsify backdated travel documents related to this child... just kidding!)
    A few years ago while nearing dissertation time, I met a student from Kenya and asked him whether things were really spiraling downwards there, as it seemed in the press, due to jihadi militants moving into the region. He took an offended look and responded that they had no such problems in Kenya, abruptly ending our conversation.
    That stance would be difficult to support today.
    - Reader #1482

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  15. What a handsome dog! I mean the one in front covering the driver. ;) German Shepherds are smart so he'll soon get the hang of driving although you may have to work the pedals for him. One of my German Shepherds tried to shift from 4th down to 3rd one time and I had to punch the clutch pedal down quick and rev the motor to prevent a mishap. True story.

    Somehow that recollection of a visit from Hillary to the little people doesn't surprise me at all.

    Sam

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  16. Anon @ 6:30pm,

    No things are not spiralling down in Kenya, and the fact of this weekend's attack is no more a demonstration of that than was 9/11 here. Instead, it merely illustrates that we're all on the front line.

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  17. Speaking of dogs, Nancy Pelozi attended the wedding of George Soros (83) to his third wife (42) on the weekend.

    Where's a drone when you really need one?

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  18. Great German Shepherd!

    I think I know why he's getting the shifting wrong and spilling your coffee. He wants a souped up 911 and the autobahn.

    Green Bear

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  19. Only slightly off topic but in a similar vein...

    Back in the summer of '77,iirc, Ft Hood endured the travesty that was 'Peanut 6*', a tour by Jimmuh C and his straphangers of III Corps and it's environs. As a gunner on an M551a1 Sheridan my piece of this 'event' was to park my Sheridan out in the middle of no damn where about 2 weeks before his visit, in July iirc along with one example of every vehicle or other mobile device in the corps. At first it was called "replace every visible part that wasn't up to snuff, paint the vehicle on site, so as not to get it dusty, hose down the dirt at hourly intervals for the same reason, etc, etc, etc", I'm sure you can figure out the harmony. Later, due to budgetary constraints a direct result of Jimmuh's policies we were reduced to using bondo to fill in missing rubber chunks in the track and suspension, then cleverly painting it all black.

    On the big day the secret service demanded that everyone remove the firing pins from our weapons and secure them. That was an insult I still don't forgive. And not one of those sorry 4 starred perfumed popinjays fluttering about him said jack. Then as the Big He and his coteries lumbered by the Army chief of staph muttered, 'That's the Sheridan, it's being retired from inventory.' Mebbe it was a good thing they took our firing pins, after all.

    * 6 is the traditional call sign for a commander, when you're not fiddling around with codebooks and suchlike stuph. The peanut part, I leave to your imagination.

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  20. Note to self, put A State of Disobedience on Amazon for free the day the bitch announces she's running. It's not a great book, not bad but not great, but every little bit helps.

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  21. Love the pic! My Shepherd Akita cross also thought he should be taught to drive. Whenever I left him in the back of my SUV when I returned. he'd be sitting in the drivers seat, looking out the windshield.

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  22. Hillary to AID Mission Director at "fact finding tour": Don't ever get in front of me - I always go first.
    Mission Director to Hillary: But I know where I'm going....

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  23. This is a timely story, just yesterday I started reading a book called "Unlimited Access" written by an FBI agent who was essentially the gatekeeper at the White House during the transition from Bush 41 to the Clintons. I've barely reached Chapter 2 and it's already abundantly clear how rude, uncouth, amateurish, and just plain trash they and their people were. Worse than I ever imagined. This is was of course in '93, looks like even by the end of their administration, there was no change.

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  24. Oh, how much do I love this story...ROFLMAO!!!!!

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