|Staff offer head protection for Clinton
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 65, returned to work and was given an American football helmet to protect her in rough-and-tumble Washington as she returned to work after a period of illness.
A month to the day since she was last seen in public when she flew back from a trip to Europe on December 7, Clinton chaired her regular weekly meeting with her closest staff and advisers, AFP reports.
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 bearing the words “Clinton’’ and “112,’’ to signify the number of countries she has visited during her four-year tenure, the State Department said.
Deputy secretary Tom Nides presented the gift in a big box, handing it over with a warning about life in Washington being “a contact sport.’’
Clinton had first succumbed to a virulent stomach virus, but then became dehydrated and fell, suffering a concussion. Doctors say the blood clot found later in a vein behind her right ear most likely resulted from the fall.
There is still some outstanding business for Clinton to finish before she steps down as secretary of state, with veteran Senator John Kerry already tapped to replace her.
Notably, US lawmakers are expecting her to testify on the killings of four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens, in the September 11 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.