Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the first woman in the history of the United States to hold this powerful position, flew around the world meeting with mostly male world leaders to discuss war and other matters of national security. Fluent in French and Czech and the bearer of a Doctorate from Columbia University's Department of Public Law and Government, apparently Madame Secretary did not just rely on her book smarts to get the job done. In a March 20th television appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO), Albright admitted to flirting in the name of diplomacy. I've typed the transcript below.
Click here to view the entire interview on YouTube. The conversation above starts at approximately 4 minutes and 55 seconds into the clip.
Maher: It seems like we have a tradition now of, almost, where we are having a lot of women Secretary of States. You, Condoleezza Rice, and now Hillary Clinton. Do you think it is easier when we have a woman Secretary of State? Because you can talk to foreign leaders. It is after all... it does come down to a one on one situation a lot of times and you know a woman can sort of flirt you know? (audience laughter) Well they can, you know.
Albright: I did. I did. Absolutely.
Maher: You did? Give us an example.
Albright: Well, I had a lot of different things that I did. I used to say.. I was very nice and charming and I'd say I've come a very long way and I must be frank. But I danced. I sang and did all kinds of things. But the question now is whether a man can ever be Secretary of State!
My thoughts: I know that being Secretary of State is a VERY serious job but I find it refreshing the Madeleine Albright recognized that even in the high stakes world of international diplomacy that there are moments when tasteful flirting is not inappropriate. I met Madame Secretary a few years ago and she was nothing but pleasant. Of course, I searched the internet until I could find a picture of Albright in flirt mode. Well, she is absolutely glowing in this photo with former Czech Republic President Valcav Havel.