The Washington Post

Hillary: It'll Take More Than Tomatoes to Rattle Her

Egyptian protesters gather on a street near the U.S . Consulate as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a flag-raising ceremony at the Consulate General in the mediterranean city of Alexandria on Sunday. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

A U.S. secretary of state arrives in a Middle Eastern country, and she’s greeted by chants of the name of the young woman her husband had a liaison with as president. Tomatoes and shoes are thrown at her motorcade, too.

But sometimes reality beats television for drama.

Indeed, Egyptians yelled “Monica, Monica,” at Hillary Clinton on Sunday in Alexandria, where she was attending the opening of a U.S. consulate.

For a minute, you have to reach back into the memory bank to remember Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton’s impeachment. The Clintons have come such a long in way in re-inventing themselves and rescuing their legacies from the scandal-ridden 1990s.

In Egypt, Clinton reaffirmed Washington's "strong" support for Egyptian democracy, and met with newly-elected President Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian protests came amid suspicions that Washington meddled in the election, even if Morsi, a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood, wouldn’t have been America’s first choice.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi walks with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to a meeting at the Ministry of Defense on Sunday. (Brendan Smialowski/AP)

Her life has inspired a primetime television, miniseries that’s essentially an extended campaign commercial urging her to run for president in four years — and it doesn’t hurt to have statuesque Sigourney Weaver portraying her.

Mitt Romney is even using her in a campaign ad attacking her current boss, President Barack Obama. The ad’s narrator says, “Just like he did against Hillary Clinton, President Obama now continues to spread dishonest attacks about Mitt Romney to distract from his failed record.”

An Egyptian protester outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. (MOHAMMED HOSSAM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

A picture of her, carefree and laughing at a meeting in Cambodia last week, also went viral, with some blogs hosting caption contests for it. She’s having such a good time lately that last month, she donned Mardi Gras cat-eye sunglasses at a swearing in ceremony at the State Department.At this point in her life, it would take more than a few vegetables lobbed in her direction to rattle her.

Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt.” Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker



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