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By Sarah May on
 September 28, 2023

Hillary Clinton portrait unveiling at State Department draws criticism, mockery

An official portrait of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the subject of a formal unveiling on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., and though the event was intended as an honor, it also sparked intense criticism, mockery, and even a suggestion that incarceration was perhaps more appropriate than a fawning ceremony, as Fox News reports.

According to The Hill, the portrait depicts Clinton in a blue-green ensemble with an American flag backdrop, and its presentation was accompanied by gushing remarks from current Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Before pulling back the curtain on the artist's rendering, Blinken declared, “The walk to the secretary's office on the seventh floor is a little bit awe-inspiring...down that wood-paneled mahogany row, surrounded by portraits of our predecessors, most if them looking a little bit severe, many with some pretty imaginative facial hair, and all but three of them white men.”

Now, Blinken explained, the hallway collection would include someone he said “helped transform American diplomacy for the 21st century,” referencing Clinton.

Clinton herself, clearly pleased by the proceedings, later took to X, formerly Twitter, to display the portrait and say, “Today, I was honored to return to the @StateDept and join @SecBlinken in unveiling my official portrait as 67th Secretary of State. We're delighted to share it with the American public right here, in case you don't make in person to headquarters in Foggy Bottom anytime soon.”

Not long after, she supplemented that post by reminiscing about her tenure as the nation's top diplomat, saying, “When I walked into the State Department as Secretary fourteen years ago, I knew that having the honor to lead the State Department and USAID would be a singular challenge and a unique chance to do good in the world. It was that and so much more.”

During the ceremony itself, Clinton made a point of listing some of the things she counts as her most significant achievements while at the State Department and lauded the Biden administration's commitment to “the continuation of a lot of the values and priorities that we worked on.”

Clinton suggested that she was especially proud of the work she and her team did with regard to “[e]xpanding NATO, facing down Russian aggression, managing the challenges from China using creative diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific."

As the Washington Examiner noted, Clinton's kind words for the Biden administration were balanced by a snide quip referencing former President Donald Trump, to whom she lost the 2016 presidential election.

Expressing her happiness about returning to Foggy Bottom, Clinton joked, “It is such a joy to be back here, and I haven't seen this portrait in a really long time. Between COVID, between not wanting to finish it during the prior administration, it's been a while.”

Clinton's smugness on the occasion of the portrait's unveiling was met with unrestrained contempt from a number of prominent commentators, some of whom suggested that instead than this type of honor, she was in fact deserving of something far less dignified, as Fox News noted.

The X account of Republicans for National Renewal replied to Clinton's posts about Tuesday's event by bluntly stating, “You should be in jail.”

Sean Davis of The Federalist replied with a photo of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the infamous attack in Benghazi, which unfolded on Clinton's watch and for which she evaded accountability.

The House Judiciary Committee's X account posted a map of Benghazi without additional comment, while RedState's Buzz Patterson asked incredulously, “What the hell are we doing? Hillary? That Hillary?”

Written By:
Sarah May

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