Bill Clinton once called his visit to Northern Ireland 20 years ago “the best two days of my presidency.” And an event honoring his wife’s role in the region’s peace process Monday may have made the day the best for Hillary Clinton in some time.
At a ceremony inducting the former secretary of state into the Irish America Hall of Fame in New York City, the all-but-declared presidential candidate enjoyed the welcome respite after two difficult weeks weathering allegations that she flouted record keeping rules by using a private email server as secretary of state.
“It is such a personal pleasure and delight for me to be here,” Clinton said at what is likely to be one of her last public appearances a private citizen before an approaching campaign launch. “It’s a wonderful feeling being here, it’s kind of like a family reunion.”
Wearing green and a big smile on St. Patrick’s Day eve, Clinton entered an ornate hotel ballroom to bagpipes as guests raised pints of Guinness. There were no mentions of her emails, and the only reminder of Clinton’s presidential ambitions came from the “Irish Americans for Hillary” buttons Stella O’Leary passed out to attendees and jokes about the large number of people in the room who wanted to be Clinton’s ambassador to Dublin.
Clinton, who is not Irish, was inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame for her work to bring women in to peace process that ended the decades-long conflict between Catholic and Protestants in Ireland known as The Troubles.For more background on her efforts, read this from Rep. Joe Crowley.
Hillary's entire speech can be seen at the MSNBC link above. However, you'll have to skip ahead about an hour, past several other speeches and...oddly...a 25-minute unedited closeup feed of her eating lunch, where she can be seen talking with her mouth full, picking food out of her teeth with her tongue, and putting on lipstick. It's humanizing, and she's a class act through it all, but it's unnecessary invasive.
So let us resolve here and now that every candidate - no matter the party - has the right to a few minutes to eat their meal in relative peace without a camera shoved in their face.
For crying out loud.