July 3rd, 2009
06:19 PM ET
9 years ago

Hillary Clinton 'elbowed' aside?

The State Department told CNN that Hillary Clinton has not been sidelined by her broken elbow.

The State Department told CNN that Hillary Clinton has not been sidelined by her broken elbow.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Washington is a town where a sharp elbow is almost a job requirement. The ability to nudge political rivals off-balance and fight for bureaucratic turf can boost a career.

So it's easy to understand why the State Department on Thursday was quick to reject any suggestion that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been sidelined by her broken elbow.

Clinton fell and broke her elbow in the State Department basement as she was walking toward her car June 17, bound for a meeting at the White House.

Are Clinton and her international policy responsibilities being usurped by Vice President Biden? "Nonsense," State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly told CNN.

Full dialogue between reporter and Kelly after the jump

Earlier Kelly told his afternoon briefing that Clinton was fully engaged, even if she is spending some of her work-day time at home recuperating and undergoing physical therapy.

And Kelly dismissed a question about whether President Obama's decision to allow Biden to oversee Iraq policy - and to work with the U.S. military and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq help the Iraqis reconcile their political differences - was chipping away at Clinton's role

"Well, I - as I've said earlier, I see the secretary as very engaged, very involved," Kelly said. "She sees the president weekly, talks to him often. She met with him yesterday. But in terms of Vice President Biden's role, I would have to refer you to his office."

Vice President Biden arrived in Iraq Thursday. And earlier in the week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Biden would "oversee" Iraq policy and work with both the U.S. military and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill in helping the Iraqis reconcile their political differences.

At the outset the State Department portrayed the accident as "a fairly simple, straightforward fracture."

On Thursday an official, in a background briefing, said Clinton "shattered" her elbow, suggesting a much more serious injury but providing no details.

On Wednesday, the State Department said Clinton was not going to the Moscow summit with President Obama. And that led to a round of reporter questions for Kelly.

"Kelly: Well, there were never any firm plans, necessarily, for her to go to Moscow. I think she called Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov yesterday to tell him that she wasn't going to go and she looked forward to seeing him soon. But in terms of what's going to happen in the next few weeks, as I said, she does plan to go to this trip to Asia in a couple weeks, and we hope to have an announcement soon about that.

Question: You're still not – you're still not saying why that decision was made for her not to go.

Kelly: Well, I think – she broke her elbow and she is getting therapy … So quite naturally, she's focused on that, on healing.

Question: That makes sense.

Kelly: Yeah, thanks.

Question: Why won't you reveal more medical details?

Kelly: Didn't I just say that? Didn't I say that she needs to – she needs to pay attention to her elbow, she needs to – she needs to heal?

Question: Is there a possibility of an additional operation?

Kelly: I doubt it, but I just don't know.

Question: And can you give us any details about the physical therapy? Is it daily? Supervised? Does she go someplace and have it?

Kelly. I'm just not aware of it. "

After that Kelly seemed grateful when a journalist changed the subject to Afghanistan.

Kelly: I doubt it, but I just don't know.

Question: And can you give us any details about the physical therapy? Is it daily? Supervised? Does she go someplace and have it?

Kelly. I'm just not aware of it. "

After that Kelly seemed grateful when a journalist changed the subject to Afghanistan.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh MY God,

    There is still one of you out there, I know it's just one because you are just posting under different names. Youknow what I'm talking about, we should have elected Hillary instead of Obama. Give it up please.

    Leah, I love that name.

    July 3, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Hugo

    The Clintons are the reason I am no longer a member of the Democratic party, but I would join back up if we could have a do over of the 09' election. I don't believe we would have half the economic problems we are having if Hillary had been elected, she and Nancy Pelosi would've had a cat fight and the "Spend-use-less Bill" would have never been passed. The Clintons' may be some of the most corrupt politicians in DC but they definetley understand Economics 101, a class that Mr. Obama obviously never attended.

    July 3, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Larry

    This can't possibly be a serious question ...

    Must be a real slow news day for Charley Keyes at CNN ...

    Maybe started celebrating the 4th of July a little early Charley?

    A few to many beers for lunch?

    July 3, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. Carole Gold

    I've been saying for months now that the brilliance of the Secretary of State appointment of Hilary Clinton was done with the intent to marginalize or dis-empower President Obama's greatest opposing force within the Democrat party. He cajoled her into a job where she is forced to tout the Administration's foreign policy whether she likes it, supports it, or not. I would prefer to see her resignation today rather than Sarah Palin's. Love Clinton or not, she can be a force when unshackled. We need such forces now. Desperately.

    July 3, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    I love it when people, who are even somewhat smart, think they can figure things out, things like Propositions that we vote on.

    Here is a little clue,
    those props are written by lawyers with loopholes and since voting NO is just not practical because there are actual Props that might help out, the best way is to look at who is for it and who is against it.

    I don't mean endorsements, I mean look at the little print during the commercial "paid by...."

    People don't pay attention to that, that is how we let a bunch of white religious freaks from Utah, influence a African American community in California (Prop 8).

    July 3, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. John - San Jose

    Hillary was my candidate but I voted for Obama in the general. If Obama thinks he can mess with HRC, he should think it over. Obama is popular today becuase of the idea that HRC is part of the team. Biden could not draw a crowd this week when he was in erire, PA. I know my Hillary, she knows what she is doing. I bet you we can see her resigned before this year, and this administration will be just for one term. The last ingredient Obama wants to mess with is to step on the toes of HRC.

    July 3, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    This reminds me of a comedy bit done by Dave Chappelle about watching MTV after the 911 attacks and the VJ having JaRule on the phone and asking him about what he thinks about the attacks....


    July 3, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. annie against biased news

    Let's see – the dnc sold her down the river in the campaign, bo sold her down the river for vp, and now in true chicago criminal politics he takes this job away from her in bits & pieces.

    July 3, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Europe for Hillary

    Hillary 2012 ! you like it or not, so it BE ! Obama wrong candidate

    July 3, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Sergei

    The premise of this article is really stupid. She broke her elbow and is now being elbowed aside? Was this written by a fourth grader?

    July 3, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. GIBBS

    big surprise....obama makes hillary sec. of state and then pushes her aside. what a way to get rid of her....should people be surprised at this? if she were smart she would resign and then go after him politically.....she would then have a better chance of the 2012 presidency. obama better watch out....the clintons are shreud politicians and you just watch what will happen!

    July 3, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Gordon Shumway

    Obama's subtleness and obvious lessons learned, Chicago style, should serve him well in Russia where his conquest and desolation of the US are greatly admired and he is held in the highest esteem.

    July 3, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. JJ in NY

    Not only should hillary be elbowed aside, but she should be kicked to the curb ! She is old and tired and we are sick of even seeing her .

    July 3, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. jaye

    Hillary is tough as nails, and can withstand anything Washington (or the republicans) throw at her.
    So, stop with the innuendo that she is being pushed aside – go pick on the worthless republicans.

    July 3, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. jeremy, pa

    Hillary is the best... She is helping to make Obama look good!

    July 3, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. Karen

    I sure wish Hillary Clinton was the president!!

    July 3, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. jt

    Clinton will be the President soon.

    Obama is just, oh never mind, don't want to be negative.

    July 3, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  18. George

    And this is clearly news.

    July 3, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Churchill

    Oh !!! Haters. You just can't stop hating and reading meanings where they do not exist.
    Obviously your hero Rush Limbugh the master of spin and miseducation has been doing a great job.

    July 3, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. Peter E

    Like it's a hard job... Clinton under Obama's lead has really not done anything novel. They are following Bush Jr.'s policies almost to the letter. Bush Jr. was the one who set the Iraqi withdrawal deadline, they're just following through. Bush Jr. was the one who ineptly took a hands-off approach to NK. They are just following in those footsteps. Bush Jr. was the one who laid out th road to middle east peace, including the removal of illegal Israeli sttlements and the two-state solutions. Obama and Hillary have not changed that one bit. The job is easy if you just keep doing what others started for you.

    July 3, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. don

    Reading the posts really depresses me – there is that many stupid people in the world.

    Why do you takes sides when they are no different from each other. How is Clinton different from Obama? Or how is either different from McCain?

    You are a fool if you have not noticed by now that electing a dem or a repub makes very little difference.

    Fire them all and lets start over – it's time for another revolution.

    July 3, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Jenn

    About that fall.
    Several prominent Democrats have tripped and fallen lately. I don't recll that any of them have been mocked endlessly by the mainstream media for not being able to walk and chew gum! Oh wait........ they only do that to Republicans. Sorry about that President Ford.

    July 3, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. kishen c.rao

    mrs. clinton, we dearly love you, please get well soon.....raos of north carolina....

    July 3, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. hmpo

    I love this. You Demos are beginning to realize what a mistake "the One" is.
    Now if you would stop fighting the Republicans in Congress and gang up against the "ONE" and Nancy. We could stop this downward trend we are having and give our country and a right back to the people.

    July 3, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. Sarahmadinejad Palinannity

    CNN and Ian Kelly need to grow up and practice real journalism. Does CNN know anything other than setting up controversy and suspicion where none exists? Probably not since the network is busy promoting their powdered, pompous, know-nothing talking heads who are losing credilbilty and ratings by the day!

    July 3, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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