Leading article: Diplomatic relations

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The Independent Online

Oh Hillary, why did you do it? It's no good anyone blaming the questioner (for supposedly saying President Clinton when he meant President Obama), or the translator (for relaying the question inaccurately), or the general circumstances (the end of a gruelling foreign tour).

Such things are all in a day's work for top diplomats; occupational hazards they are expected to gird themselves against, 24/7, from pole to pole. And that includes Mrs Clinton, seasoned diplomat or no.

In one way, her response to the mild inference that her husband's views on the Congo might be more worth hearing than her own, was endearing evidence that something, if only intra-marital rivalry, gets to this latterday "iron lady". Bill may have returned from North Korea a – deafeningly silent – hero, having rescued two young journalists from a nuclear-armed dictator, but his wife is not short of amour propre. Bedtime when she gets back to Washington looks set to be a whole load of fun.

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