Bill Clinton's success overshadowing Hillary's?

Having accomplished his secret mission to North Korea, former President Bill Clinton was welcomed home with journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling in tow.

Behind the scenes, however, it was his wife, Hillary, who had toiled with the details. The secretary of state had been mocked as a “funny lady” and “schoolgirl” by North Korean leaders — the same ones who insisted Bill be the one to visit.

“She has definitely been overshadowed,” said Karen  O’Connor, of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. “It puts her in the position of looking like she’s depending on her husband, which I don’t believe she is.

“In actuality, as secretary of state, she can’t do much, because the U.S. doesn’t have a diplomatic relationship with North Korea,” O’Connor said.

Hillary Clinton’s position could create a conflict of interest if the former president officially reclaims the diplomatic stage, but he’s a natural choice for an envoy, said Donald T. Phillips, author of “The Clinton Charisma.”

“If you go out of the country, Clinton is like a rock star,” Phillips said. “Part of it is not only his basic charisma, but a lot of it is how frequently he traveled around the world.”

The couple’s influence is undeniable, experts said.

“We’re sort of lucky. Everybody said when he first got elected that we’re getting two for the price of one,” said political analyst Keli Goff, author of “Party Crashing.” “Now we sort of have that in reverse.”

Tags: politics , Bill Clinton , Secretary of State Hillary Clinton , North Korea

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