Hillary Clinton Gets Gift of Football Helmet as she Returns to Work

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 7 2013 4:26 PM

Hillary Clinton Gets Football Helmet as Gift on First Day Back at Work

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Hillary Clinton shows off her gift

State Department

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was welcomed back at work with a standing ovation after a month of health woes that included a fall and a concussion. When she walked into a senior staff meeting today, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides gave Clinton a gift: a regulation white Riddell football helmet with the State Department seal on the side, reports the Associated Press. As he presented the gift, Nides said life in Washington is often a “contact sport, sometimes even in your own home.” Clinton also received a football jersey with the number 112 on it, representing the number of countries she has visited during her tenure at the State Department.

"She loved it. She thought it was cool. But then being Hillary Clinton, she wanted to get right to business," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. Clinton first became sick with a stomach bug when she returned from a trip on Dec. 7, she then fainted and fell and suffered a concussion later in the month. Then, on Dec. 30, doctors discovered a blood clot near her brain.

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The Washington Post’s Max Fisher translates into graphics what it means for Hillary Clinton to have spent 87 full days on airplanes since taking office almost four years ago. “During her tenure, Clinton spent more time on airplanes than most Americans spend on any single activity other than sleeping, work or TV,” writes Fisher. “Keep this in mind the next time you read about the possible physical toll of Clinton’s travels. When people call her schedule ‘grueling,’ they’re not kidding.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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