Hillary Clinton is in Latvia today, the 100th nation she's visited as U.S. Secretary of State. This makes her our 100% most gallivantiest Secretary of State of all time, out-gallivanting other noted Gallivanters of State such as Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and a bunch of dudes. Go Hillz!
Albright, the previous record-holder, visited 96 countries, while Rice went to a measly 85. Pssssh, whatever. I went to 84 countries TODAY, and I haven't even put a bra on yet. Plus, Hillary isn't afraid of meeting with scary, "colorful" international characters such as women! And 19-year-olds! She's seh brehv, you guys.
Like her predecessors Albright and Rice, Clinton places a great emphasis on meeting with local women's groups and university students.
"Depending on what part of the world she is in, she'll meet with groups that are slightly more colorful than traditional politicians," Wolfson said.
HOWEVER. While Hillz is tops in number of countries visited, Condi has actually traveled more physical miles. Not including the Latvia trip (I'm assuming the site just hasn't updated yet), Hillary has gone 806,585 miles, racking up 73.1 solid days of travel time. Condi, on the other hand, traveled 1,059,247 miles with 93.7 days in the air during her tenure. That's the equivalent of 4.43 trips to the moon. (It's worth noting, however, that Condi took ZERO actual trips to the moon. Lazy.) So who's really the "most traveled" Secretary of State? The conundrum resulted in something of a pissing match between Clinton and Rice staffers.
Colby Cooper, Rice's chief of staff, says:
When you start adding it up, you realize that you're about to broach a million miles. Even in this day and age, that's pretty impressive.
But the Clinton camp is not impressed:
"Woody Allen nailed it when he said 90 percent of life is showing up. She's already visited more [countries] than any of her predecessors. One hundred should be on our next trip to Europe [Ed: DING DING DING!!!]. And she's got a lot of time left, so 110 is a fair guess [by the end of her term]. That would be 15 more than the previous highest, accomplished by Madeleine Albright," says Clinton's spokesman Philippe Reines.
Reines argues that countries visited are a better indicator of a secretary's diplomatic activity.
"Miles is obviously another valid indicator, but doesn't tell the whole story as much as countries visited, total trips, or number of days abroad do," he says. "As an absurd example, a Secretary who travels to Singapore 100 times is going to rack up 5,000,000 miles (and remember that many are visited multiple times like Israel, Egypt, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, on and on) while one who visits 100 countries could only travel 1,000,000 miles. Which makes more sense in furtherance of our foreign-policy goals?"
I think the most important thing that we can take away from this debate is......I need a nap now. I don't know how these women do this. Seriously, I took the bus to a movie three days ago and I'm still jetlagged.