Clinton returns to applause and a football helmet
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a standing ovation from her staff and an American football helmet to protect her from Washington's hard knocks as she returned to work after a health scare.
A month to the day since she was last seen on official duties when she flew back from a trip to Europe on Dec 7, Mrs Clinton chaired her regular weekly Monday meeting with her closest staff and advisors.
"It is a great day here in the department... Secretary Clinton is back to work," State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said, adding that the 75 people present at the meeting had given her a standing ovation. Mrs Clinton, 65, who suffered a blood clot to her head after a fall in December "looks fantastic, she seems to be terrific," Ms Nuland said. "She is in the pink, literally. She's wearing a brilliant pink jacket today."
As a joke, the staff presented her with a white football helmet, with "lots of good padding" bearing the State Department seals, and a blue football jersey printed with the words "Clinton" and "112," to signify the number of countries she has visited during her four-year tenure, Ms Nuland said.