There was one big personality left out of the equation for most of Monday's discussion of "The Secretary," BBC State Department correspondent Kim Ghattas' new book on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Why no Bill?
"I haven't mentioned the husband because I was really focused on covering her as secretary of state," Ghattas said to the crowd gathered at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the first stop on Ghattas' book tour. "It isn't pure biography, so I didn't delve into that aspect of her life," Ghattas said of the tome, which mentions Bill Clinton only a handful of times throughout its 336 pages.
The journalist pointed out something interesting that happened during Clinton's tenure as secretary. "She had always been her own person in her own right, but she emerged fully from the shadow of her husband," Ghattas said. "She had often been Clinton No. 2 and now she's just Hillary 1."
Ghattas said the perfect example of this evolution occurred at this year's Golden Globes. It seems that comedian Amy Poehler, who often played Clinton on "Saturday Night Live," nailed it. "The host, after Bill Clinton speaks onstage says, 'Oh my God, it's so exciting, that was Hillary Clinton's husband,' " Ghattas recalled. "And that's kind of where we are now."
Ghattas traveled 300,000 miles around the world with Clinton for her job at the BBC and calls the book a "fun whirlwind tour of the world in the company of a historic figure."
"We go on motorcades racing through towns and to Saudi kings' palaces, we eat curry on the way, and lots of taco salads on the secretary's plane," she said. "The food, I can assure you, is not that great. But, at the same time, you're learning about the stuff of war and peace and about international affairs and really getting to see what it's like to do the day to day job of America's ambassador of the world."