An interview with the former US secretary of State, in which she discusses Iran, Afghanistan, and the political statements her choice of jewelry makes.
As the first woman secretary of State in the US, you engaged in an unprecedented method of conveying messages of state – "pin diplomacy" – as you describe in your new book, "Read My Pins." How did that start? What kind of responses did you elicit?
Well, of course, I do love jewelry and always wear it. But it never occurred to me to use it as a way to signal a message until I was ambassador to the United Nations and the only woman on the Security Council. After the first Gulf War, when the UN was considering a number of resolutions concerning Iraq, it was my job to get up and say bad things about Saddam Hussein, which he deserved.
In response, a poem appeared in an Iraqi newspaper in which I was called an "unparalleled serpent." I had a snake pin in my jewelry box, so I decided to wear that snake pin whenever Iraq was discussed at the UN. The press noticed.
So, amused, I thought I would carry the practice through in the rest of my diplomatic agenda. The first President Bush had said, "Read my lips." So my motto became, "Read my pins."
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