While a packed-out auditorium in Dublin’s Trinity College was the backdrop for Hillary Clinton’s post-lecture questions and answers session yesterday, it could have been a comedy theatre as she had a captive audience in stitches with tales from her time in the White House.
“I would try to go out with a baseball cap and sunglasses. I persuaded the secret service that I could walk fast, that I would put on work-out clothes, jogging clothes, and I would walk,” Ms Clinton said.
“I remember one time I was walking really fast and someone shouted ‘Ma’am, ma’am’ and I said ‘Oh dear, they have recognised me’ and I turned around and this family was there, tourists to Washington, and they said: ‘Could you take our picture?’”
“Sure absolutely,” she said, noting that, on other occasions, people stopped her to tell her she looked just like Hillary Clinton.
There were belly-laughs when an out-of-character Ms Clinton — or perhaps she was just revealing her true self — regaled the audience with the tale, after being quizzed on her funniest moment in the White House by Mary Robinson. However, the answer was not the one the former Irish President was anticipating.
“I was expecting the one with the woman jogger,” said Ms Robinson.
Ms Clinton said: “Late at night I would get home from work or home from travelling and I would take a walk. I was on the sidewalk and a woman was on her bike and she had a little light on her bike; she passed me and she stopped. She walked back to me and she said: ‘I think I should tell you, you are being followed by two men,’ and I said ‘Oh really?’ Knowing they were secret service, that’s the kind of strange stuff that goes on.”
As the crowd exited, some bemoaned the fact that the Hillary who enthralled them for more than an hour had not been the one who ran against Donald Trump. What a different world we would have if it had been.