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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Hillary Clinton's Joke Goes Awry

Joking around is one thing, but when joking around with another country's diplomats, one should really try to make sure you have translated the joke correctly or it falls flat, as evidenced by Hillary Clinton with a "gag" gift to Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, seen in the above video.

From Politico:

After promising to “push the reset button” on relations with Moscow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to present Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a light-hearted gift at their talks here Friday night to symbolize the Obama administration’s desire for a new beginning in the relationship.

It didn’t quite work out as she planned.

She handed him a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift—a red plastic button on a black base with a Russian word “peregruzka” printed on top.

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton said as reporters, allowed in to observe the first few minutes of the meeting, watched.

“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said, to Clinton’s clear surprise. Instead of "reset," he said the word on the box meant “overcharge.”

Clinton and Lavrov guffawed. “We won’t let you do that to us,” she said.

(An assistant shows the mock 'reset' button that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva Friday - AP photo)

Fox News puts it perfectly when they say "Note to self: When trying to improve ties with a former Cold War-era foe, check a dictionary."

Jules Crittendon has a nice roundup of reactions to Clinton's gaffe, go take a look, good for a few laughs. He titles his piece "Amateur hour."

Hot Air points out this is two days in a row for Obama administration gaffes.

I am betting the Obama administration would kill for a reset button that works right about now, perhaps to reset the whole last month.