On The Road with Hillary Clinton

Mark Seliger / CNTraveler.com

Conde Nast Traveler’s Deputy Editor Kevin Doyle spent nine days traveling the world with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has written a fantastic piece about Secretary Clinton’s exploits around the world.

The article, which can be found in September’s issue of Conde Nast Traveler, has plenty of online extras, and is available online for all to see. We’ve included some choice snippets below.

“Our trip began on the last day of April, and by the time our five-van convoy of reporters and State Department staff arrived at Andrews Air Force Base to board the blue-and-white Boeing 757 that would carry us to China and beyond, blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng had already escaped house arrest and was holed up in the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Just before we took off, minutes shy of midnight, Secretary Clinton appeared in the back of the plane, having arrived from a day of back-to-back events that included a press conference with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a Fortunemagazine reception celebrating powerful women, and a dinner for the Japanese prime minister at the National Geographic Society. “Welcome,” she said, in a gracious but subdued tone. It was late and she looked spent. “I see some new faces and some old faces, and I’m saying hello now because once I close my door I will not emerge.” A reporter shouted a question about the Chen situation, which Clinton deflected without missing a beat. “You know,” she said, smiling, “this is such a long flight, maybe they’ll have the problem all worked out by the time we land.” Widening her eyes, she continued, “Maybe all the problems everywhere will be worked out by the time we land.” With that, she disappeared into her quarters near the front of the plane, not to be seen until some seventeen hours later, when we refueled at Yokota Air Base, just west of Tokyo. There, shrouded in the gray morning mist, she walked the tarmac, wearing sunglasses and surrounded by staffers.”

Mark Seliger / CNTraveler.com

But while Doyle’s account of Clinton may seem worldly, the Secretary is still a Chicago girl, who, according to Doyle, “always packs Tabasco sauce,” travels 800,000 miles yearly, and loves the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

The cover shot, posted above, was no easy feat, Doyle explains. “Getting the cover shot of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was like trying to capture a shooting star with a Brownie.”  A 15-minute window of opportunity opened up in Beijing, and CNTraveler’s staff set about finding suitable locations and photographers. Days later, the Beijing shoot was canceled due to Clinton’s schedule closing back up. All in all, it took perfect New Delhi weather, a leaf blower, and Secretary Clinton’s enthusiasm to secure a shoot. (You can read about that whole debacle here).

All in all, it’s a fascinating read from Doyle and Conde Nast about one of the world’s political figures who’s the envy of every mileage runner and airline program elite out there.

Articles (all attributed to CNTraveler.com)

All photos and articles are property of Conde Nast Traveler. Photo credits as noted. Featured photo: Alex Brandon / AP Pool.