Egypt, Haiti make for marathon Sunday for Clinton
January 31st, 2011
01:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Egypt, Haiti make for marathon Sunday for Clinton

Washington (CNN) - Long days go with the territory when you're the nation's top diplomat, especially during an international crisis. But for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, no stranger to chaotic days, Sunday may have been one for the books.

Clinton was the face of the administration on the Egyptian situation, making a rare appearance on all five Sunday morning shows with the message of an "orderly transition" towards democracy.

But the consecutive national television appearances that began early in the morning were just the beginning. From the State Department, she was whisked to Andrews Air Base. A long flight, eight hours on the ground in Haiti in 90 degree heat, several conference calls on Egypt, a half dozen meetings, a visit to a cholera clinic and more interviews all lay ahead.

At 9:47 a.m. ET, it was another question and answer session with reporters traveling with her. Making the point they deal with two matters at once, she reiterated to the press corps they were going to Haiti, not Egypt.

Just after 10 a.m. ET, her Air Force jet lifted off for just over three-hour flight to Port-au-Prince.

While in the air, an official said Clinton took part in secure conference calls with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, as well as her State Department team.

She landed in Port-au-Prince shortly after 1 p.m. ET, greeted by U.S. Ambassador Ken Merten followed by a short address to embassy staffers. She held her first meeting of the trip before he even left the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, sitting with United Nations Special Representative Edmond Mulet in a VIP lounge.

At 2:12 p.m. ET, Clinton was at the Cholera Treatment Center, to tour the facility seeing around 40 patients a day. Bleach spray was applied to the Secretary's shoes before she went into the center. The pool reporters inside with her say cries of a child could be heard as Clinton went through the patient area, hearing about the progress made in the outbreak and asking questions.

Next, Clinton rode through the streets of Port-au-Prince to the Ambassador's residence for a series of meetings with three Haitian presidential candidates.

But even in the middle of Haiti's political drama, Egypt was never far away. From Merten's home, around the meetings, she held a phone meeting with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

Another meeting with the Civil Society of Representatives followed, then yet another round of questions as she did interviews with three local Haitian radio stations.

In one interview, the same key line she used on Egypt came on the sticky Haitian elections: "We would like to see the election go forward into a second round and a resolution so that there can be an orderly transfer of authority and a new president can get to work."

The final event of the trip: a 30-minute ride to the National Palace to see Haiti President Rene Preval. The presidential complex was heavily damaged in the quake, and much of it remains in rubble. Pool reporters noted the once ornate main building appeared in the dark and empty, with no indication any repairs had been done.

At 7:20 p.m. ET, a photo op took place before the meeting, with Clinton joking to Preval, "How have you been? Busy, huh? You know we have an expression…busy as a one-armed paper hanger."

At 8:35 p.m. ET, the meetings were over and Clinton's entourage was en route back the airport 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Shortly after 9 p.m. ET, Clinton was back in the air on the blue and white jet.

She returned to Washington after midnight Monday morning, 18 hours, 9 interviews and at least 8 meetings after the day started.

Filed under: Egypt • Haiti • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Thank you Secretary Clinton for helping cleanup yet another Bush mess!

    January 31, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. Mr mister

    Is it just me or is Hillary looking a lot better these days? I am wondering if she is planning a run for president. Maybe she took a page out of Palin's book and realized looks may have a lot to do with electability. Growing her hair out and looking more lady like now, she;s a lot different than when she was sporting the short hair and mean look.

    January 31, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Chloe

    I have never seen so many uneducated haters in my life. No wonder fox has millions of viewers and cnn has hundreds. U are not even civil to each other. The last essay jfk,jr. Wrote was re: the decline of manners in our beloved country. Look it up!

    January 31, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Republicans = Fascists

    It certainly was a busy day for the S.O.S., but it comes with the territory and I'm sure she is fully capable of multi-tasking.

    January 31, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Now what the President and Secretary of State must do is keep people like Huckabee and others from using these conflicts for political gain. There is no place for candidates to be running around the World and spouting off at the mouth especially Huckabee with his movie star Voigt, they both are no more than a private citizen and has no power and nothing to offer. I'm sure the Prime Minister of Israel really wanted to say "what are you yahoos doing here".

    January 31, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    For God's sake, FORGET ABOUT HAITI at this point. The place is a basket case, always has been, always will be. Let Bill find out where all the money went to down there and why people are still living in the streets.

    Focus on the REAL PROBLEM of Egypt would could have major long term implications for this country, Israel and the entire middle east.

    January 31, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. rachel

    She always was a work horse!

    January 31, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Hillary 2012

    man, she's awesome!

    January 31, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. Whatever

    She is doing an EXCELLENT job. She will make a GREAT President in 2016!!!!!!!!

    I wonder who will take her place in 2014 or 2015 when she leaves in order to run for President in 2016.


    January 31, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. diridi

    to participate in Olympics?????? They are dying with no drink....that part of the globe, water is drying out...even In India too...I bet after Egypt...India is next....lot of disparity between poor and rich in India...poor are 98% rich 2%. Black money is 100%. Wake up, America, try to think practical.....

    January 31, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |