Behind the Scenes With Protocol Chief Nancy Brinker

Posted by Nancy Brinker
November 9, 2007
U.S. Visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy

This is the first in a series of posts byNancy Brinker, Chief of Protocol. Ambassador Brinker introduces herself and provides a behind the scenes look into the U.S. visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

After being appointed by President Bush and confirmed in October, I am now almost fully engaged in the role as Chief of Protocol. I report to Secretary Rice and I am delighted to be a part of her team, dedicated to transformational diplomacy.

This is a VERY different sort of role for me, (I spent all of my adult years on breast cancer and cancer advocacy, policy, fundraising and building a large organization). I was always the person giving the speech...directing, etc... Now I have extreme sympathy for those who supported me over the years as now I am in a support function. This new role still allows me to practice policy – albeit in different ways.

I recently added a new part of our mission, simply called “Outreach.” In addition to ceremonial functions, Diplomatic affairs, oversight of the Blair House, visits section and gifts that we take to leaders, we are also very busy arranging meetings, briefings and some "field trips" for our D.C. Diplomatic Community. This community consists of 184 Missions with over 150,000 diplomats serving in America and over 3,000 offices throughout the world dealing with Consulates, Embassies and Honorary Consulates. Together with the Office of Foreign Missions who deals with the actual buildings, we deal with the people side of the protocol equation.

So how in the world did I get here? A circuitous route. I was born in Peoria, Illinois and have lived in Texas and Florida the last 30 years! I was the founder of “Susan G. Komen for the Cure,” named after Susan Komen, my sister, who died in 1980. In 2001, President Bush asked me to serve as Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. I loved serving though the times were difficult (I was to leave for duty on September 11, 2001). My first year there, I missed my family a lot and people were not traveling to visit. Fortunately, the Officers on Embassy staff saved the day! They were warm, welcoming, and delighted that I was trying to offer leadership to the mission. They helped create a family away from home for me and I cherished the State Department family for this! Although I struggled a bit with the Hungarian language, I fell in love with the beauty of the country. The magnificence of the glorious culture BECAME the Hungarian language for me, along with the opportunity to work with their government on cancer and health care issues. It afforded me the opportunity to see America in a different light, through a different lens. As a political appointee, I learned to have great regard for my colleagues who are and were career foreign service officers. They have always been a source of much information, education for me and approached issues with a focused effort. I was honored then and am honored now to work side by side with these officers. I still stay very close to my friends in Hungary. Whenever possible, I welcome their diplomats and try to be available to help when I can.

This new assignment presented me with many learning experiences. My first task was the assessment of the Department. Given that my mother told me to always leave things better than I found them, I sought ways that the Office of Protocol could become more relevant to the times. Secondly, Secretary Rice expects Protocol to engage in transformational ideas and actions. The first thing we did was survey the Diplomatic community. We wanted to see what they wanted to hear, who they wanted to meet and see, what experiences they wanted to know, which issues were of most concern to them and who they wanted to engage within our business, NGO, cultural and medical/healthcare leaders. Medical diplomacy is an area that I have experience so I am always happy to share resources and experiences. In addition, we want to invite foreign Diplomats to regions of the U.S. where they have an interest in seeing and learning more about. What could we do besides greet them and facilitate their entry into the U.S. to make them feel appreciated and to engage them so they can understand us even better? These Diplomats are important to us as friends and can translate and articulate us, our culture, our values and our practices as Americans. Sometimes, they can even articulate our culture and values better than we do!

I have been able to spend time with many leaders like Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Ugandan President Museveni and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I was honored to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a fierce French patriot. As the daughter of 2nd generation immigrants, I share a similar passion for America and the freedom it gave our family since the turn of the century. I was honored to be asked to serve again for the President. My father passed away last June and he was very insistent that I serve again even though I did not want to leave his side. My son Eric wore his grandfather’s watch to my swearing in so he would be with us. This term for me is for Dad and the love of our country he gave to us.

So, if you are reading this, you can imagine how full my heart was to be greeting the French President who so unabashedly admires America. Out office staff planned for days with detailed charts of events that entailed meticulous planning of events and movements. Our plans included all possible event scenarios and tried to imagine everything that could go wrong so that we could have backup plans in place. As there were a lot of movements to President Sarkozy’s visit, we had to be concerned everyone in both delegations were in synch with the White House, the French Embassy and delegation, etc... The day finally arrived and I was able to greet President Sarkozy at the door of his airplane at Andrews AFB. It was just as I imagined. He has boundless with energy and he came through the door and through the crowd ready to work! He is very engaging and direct. The French Ambassador, Pierre Vimont, himself newly arrived in DC, was with me and I could imagine the thrill he felt as he too was a welcoming Ambassador.

Later, I attended the White House dinner as a guest, a working guest!! Again, Protocol rehearsed and rehearsed our roles, yet still the entrance and exits can change in seconds and we had to be prepared for all of it. I must say I was nervous as again. I failed dance class and all things graceful, so a constant worry for me is stumbling, slipping or anything else that can happen if you are not exceedingly graceful!!! But the real importance lies in preparing to engage personally with leaders, just like any other relationship! I asked our staff to prepare as much information as possible from public records of the likes and dislikes of the leader, their family, sports interests, education, languages and their general history. It all helps to engage right away to establish a personal connection.

Back to the Sarkozy visit... He and the President toasted one another at the dinner. I must admit my eyes filled with tears because our country is filled with good people and good will. The President gave a beautiful toast and tribute. President Sarkozy followed with a tribute to our relationship and expressing his earnestness. Later after an executed planned dinner prepared by the talented White House Chef Cris Comerford (the French were very complimentary by the way!!!), Mrs. Bush organized a very touching performance by two actors who actually looked liked Lafayette and Washington. The two toasted each other as they did 230 years ago and celebrated their famous meeting at Yorktown.

The next day we hosted the Diplomatic Corps to a joint session of Congress. The electricity in the chamber was palpable. This French President spoke to us in a passionate manner about all that was right about America and our relationship as well as all that he saw as concerns. He then expressed gratitude in the most personal and grateful manner to America for saving France during WW ll. President Sarkozy said France was "...a nation exhausted from war." He talked about the 20 year old American boys who died defending France with bloodshed and death, thanking us and the families who sacrificed their sons and fathers for them. Again, others and myself were overcome with emotion as my relatives had fought in WW I and WW ll. It was a moment I shall never forget. Then he thanked us for the Marshall Plan of which we Americans have so much pride in. Both sides of the House and Senate were united in applause and an outpouring of admiration for this speech. Like he said, the French were tired and exhausted from their war ...maybe many in the room were also feeling tense and sad for our troops. But this charismatic French President articulated our need to go forward as a country with pride in our brave soldiers, remembering what we meant to his nation and highlighting the good that the U.S. has done for the world since the days of Lafayette and Washington. One of the most important messages was that we have heroes like Martin Luther King who made us deal with our past...I encourage every American to read the speech. President Sarkozy also expressed that he wanted a better, stronger Europe.

Later we assembled at Mt. Vernon for the meeting between these two energetic Presidents. Their style of how they move through their work is very similar, especially to those of us who try to anticipate it!! They can at any minute decide to go out one door or in another or leave early or stay late, pull others into a room that wasn't planned for, etc. ...So we have to VERY ready. Their dynamism is catching and it is a pleasure to work near leaders who work fast and hard and are determined to get down to work!

At the end of their meetings, after they ate lunch and a hosted a press conference, President Bush left on his helicopter back to his office and President Sarkozy took one last look at the sights. He also took a moment to shake hands with members of the press. Then he was off as fast and efficiently as he had arrived, on time ...dynamic and ready to lead in France and Europe! 

There will be more to come tomorrow. I am greeting Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to President and Mrs. Bush's ranch in Crawford, TX. I really look forward to meeting her. It is always interesting to meet personally rather than through a third party, media or others accounts. More later!

Comments

Comments

Dan
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 16, 2007

Dan in Washington, DC writes:

In her blog, Ambassador Nancy Brinker (the US Dept. of State?s Chief of Protocol) encourages all U.S. citizens to read French President Nicolas Sarkozy recent speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress -- here is a link to Sarkozy?s speech:

http://weltpolitik-blog.blogspot.com/2007/11/speech-by-mr-nicolas-sarkoz...

Billy
|
Tennessee, USA
November 10, 2007

Billy in Tennessee writes:

Welcome aboard!

I see that you have been a cancer activist for many years and continue to do so; I congratulate you for your efforts.

My concern is this, there is a lot of causes for cancer on things like finding a cure, assistance and such, but seems the effort stops there. Many people I know who are cancer survivors, including myself, face employment discrimination due to our previous conditions.

I can not get a job past my part-time factory position due to my previous cancer position. I have skills, a clearance and all qualifications for employment but I am deemed "unemployable" due to me having to take blood tests.

I have been recently turned down for employment with the State Department due to this. They said I am not world wide medical clearance eligible, but yet I travel all over the world now. Not all post I know do not have access to medical care, but the majority do. I think it is very unreasonable and unfair that myself and many others are excluded from employment due to something we have no control other and are otherwise, perfectly healthy.

I hope you can focus efforts on eliminating this discrimination against cancer survivors so they to can have the same opportunities as everyone else.

Thank you

Schmetterling
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 10, 2007

S in Washington, DC writes:

Nancy, for a Protocol Chief, i can't help but notice the very sloppy way you have your scarf tied around your neck in the photo above while meeting with French president Sarkozy. You ought to know better how to wear a scarf-euro style, particularly around the oh so chic scarf wearers-the Europeans, and particularly the French-both men and women! Tsk! Tsk! "vraiment d’ braill!"

J. H.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 10, 2007

J.P. in Washington, DC writes:

Greetings, I just noticed this new state.gov feature.

My question is, “Do some or most foreign officials and/or State personnel remember without reminder that President Bush used to be a cheerleader”? Front page picture on Washington Times covering Sarkozy visit brings such history to mind.

Please compliment Hon. Nicholas Burns on his "Current Global Priorities" presentation Friday Nov 9, 2007, for me.

mandragola
|
California, USA
November 11, 2007

Mandragola writes:

I am offering my service as a volunteer diplomat in Iraq.
Believe me, it wouldn't take very long to train me.
Give me a call.

RaymondBurnell
|
Maine, USA
November 11, 2007

Raymond in Maine writes:

Way to go State Department. It's OK for GI's to be sent there but you cry babies can't take it.

Fenda
|
China
November 11, 2007

Fenda in China writes:

Hello Nancy
How are you?

Schmetterling
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 11, 2007

S in Washington, DC writes:

Further to my last post: the word that I used, Amb. Brinker, that got mangled with the software on this site is - debraille - French for "sloppy." And if you don't think, particularly as a Protocol Chief for the USG, that the Europeans and others don't notice a sloppily tied scarf around your neck, and don't notice how you put yourself together in your dress, then you'd be quite wrong. I may not agree with Sec. Rice on most of her policy initiatives, but one thing I know she does know and understand is how to dress smartly, perfectly coordinated on all her outfits, with all her clothing and accessories tasteful and appropriate for the occasion. One need only spend time in Europe to realize if you have on something wrinkled, ill-fitting (typical with Americans-their clothes do not fit the body like European clothing) some spot or something hanging from your clothing when you go out people notice and judge you for it. They do, and not just in Europe either-that's true of the Middle East and Asia as well. When I'm in Italy, or Bangkok, visiting friends and going about, I check everything I have on more than once to see if it is climate and culture appropriate, and then to make sure that nothing looks "messy" -you would be well advised to do the same, Amb. Brinker.

Herbert B.
|
Florida, USA
November 11, 2007

Herbert in Florida writes:

I am a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer in the management cone and have followed with interest the issue of mandatory assignment to Iraq. I support this policy not just because I agreed to worldwide assignment but because I believed in serving where I thought I could do the most good. That usually meant going to places like Mali, Niger, Pakistan and Burundi. Although these countries did not present the level of danger as say an Iraq or Afghanistan, they presented other perhaps equally serious health risks. For example, when serving in Burundi I came down with an undiagnosed illness where for ten days I would have preferred death to my health condition. However I never regretted going to places where life for fellow Foreign Service members was tough because I felt more needed there to make their time more bearable.

In any case, I am proud to have served in the Foreign Service with those who agree with the world wide assignment policy and those who donãt.

As a result of the free exchanges about mandatory assignment to Iraq I hope the following will result:

a. When called upon Foreign Service members will report to Iraq rather than resign or retire. The fact that mandatory assignments were not enforced over the years is not an issue. In fact, one could suggest that the mandatory service to hardship posts could be enforced more vigorously so that personnel are reminded of this policy. Speaking of retirement, did you know that the Director General by law can recall retired members of the Foreign Service for active duty whenever he determines the needs of the Service so require? If Director General Thomas chose to exercise this authority, I would gladly agree to recall for service in Iraq and hope other retirees would feel the same.
b. Foreign Service members who were already considering volunteering for service in Iraq will step forward. They should do so not to make the mandatory call to duty moot but to serve along side other Americans who answered the call and are making the best of a difficult situation.
c. When the smoke clears from the discussion about mandatory assignment to Iraq, Foreign Service members and other Americans will put aside their differences and support the Secretaryãs policy and support each other. We have to remember that in this American democracy we have the choice to disagree with issues but in the end we also have (and want) to support the State Department Leadership and policies that we swore as Foreign Members to support.

Herbert, still Humble Servant of the People

Imogene
|
Oklahoma, USA
November 12, 2007

Imogene in Oklahoma writes:

Enjoyed your blog concerning your back ground and your many activities. I have great respect for Secretary Rice
and her staff. It is very exciting to see a picture of you with the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, it's good to have him as a friend of our country.

Thank you for your service to our great country.

Ryan
November 12, 2007

Ryan writes:

You continue to do an outstanding job - keep up the great work!!

Bodi
November 12, 2007

Bodi writes:

We don't need the 'career foreign service officer.' We can replace them with Americans who will do the job better, less cost and without constraints on that type of job because people won't leave. Open it up, put in a term limit of five years for Foreign Service and let the average American do the job.

david
|
Panama
November 12, 2007

David in Panama writes:

Ambassador Brinker: First, thank you for a very informative and interesting blog entry. I enjoyed reading it, and wish you much success in your new position.

Second, there's nothing wrong with your scarf, so ignore "S." What was important is what you had to say to the French president, and from the photo he was obviously happy about that.

Aldendeshe
|
Syria
November 13, 2007

Aldendeshe in Syria writes:

"...I have been able to spend time with many leaders like Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Ugandan President Museveni....."

I am sorry you missed meeting the world's greatest leader Uganda President Eidy Amin. But I am sure if you to stay on the job for little more you will get a fair chance of meeting few dozens leaders as great as Amin, maybe even having a all night dinner staring at the day’s fresh catch of opponents and opposition heads displayed at the center of the feast with all the appropriate garnishes of course. Honestly, I could not work this job, because I will feel degrading my humanity.

Schmetterling
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 14, 2007

S in Washington, DC writes:

Actually, David, if there was nothing wrong with Amb. Brinker's messy and ugly looking scarf, I wouldn't have reason to state to the contrary, now would I? I note she looks distinctly more put together in her latest photo-she needs to work on putting together a better, more well-groomed look-because the "look" actually DOES count, David, when you are the Chief of Protocol! In fact, DAVID that's part of the job-to present a carefully groomed, coordinated appearance-as I noted previously, the Amb. has a LOT to learn in that regard from her boss, Sec. Rice!

Stanley
|
Florida, USA
November 15, 2007

Stanley in Florida writes:

Why can't we outsource to, say, Blackwater, the open Department of State jobs in Iraq that current employees do not want to fill?

Think of the potential savings in dollars that could be realized just from a reduction in security personnel, not to speak of a whole new "Rambo" like definition of diplomatic activity.

A new face on State!

Tina
|
Louisiana, USA
November 15, 2007

Tina in Louisiana writes:

Thanks so much for sharing the behind scenes of the Office of Protocol. How does a person obtain a job in this office? Would the opportunities be posted on USA Jobs like other State Department jobs? I look forward to reading more about the duties of this office and behind the scenes. Thanks for all you do to represent the United States to the world.

Marty
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 15, 2007

Marty in Washington, DC writes:

I agree with David in Panama - Nancy is amazing. If you are passionate about Freedom, if you turn on a faucet and cool, clear water runs from it, and you thank the Almighty for a Free democratic country with beautiful diversity in it's culture and a wonderful sharing of ethnic heritages and hold tightly to the pillars of hope and community that were founded by of bravery and sacrifice for the common good- then you are a true American diplomat. I look at Nancy's accomplishments and think, someday I hope my daughters can achieve so much. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave - scarves are nice, but if that is your focus, you sadly missed the point.

Thank you Ambassador, you inspire us.

Michael
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 16, 2007

Michael in Washington, DC writes:

During past conflicts the Department directed minimal staffing (if not closure of the mission) when the environment became dangerous however it is staffing up in Baghdad in spite of the clear danger. I wonder if there is really foreign service work to be done when staff are restricted to the confines of the compound.

Michael M.
|
West Virginia, USA
November 16, 2007

Michael writes:

Any sensible discussion of U.S. diplomacy, of the type presented for public consumption, without acknowledging countless U.S. actions well hidden from the American people, worldwide and for decades, would be tantamount to playing a child's game of hide and seek. In reality, this myriad of actions, with verifiable results, by a secret, well funded U.S. army of specialists, are always committed against and within nations unable to defend against U.S. influence in their internal affairs and self determination. And the American public and taxpayers have not only consistently been the unwitting financier, but the portion of Earth's population least aware of often protracted, brutal campaigns through a combination of apathy and the culture of compliance by the mainstream U.S. media.

Created in 1947, largely as a result of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the CIA was to be the central clearing house to analyze information from all U.S. intelligence agencies, to be presented in a workable form to the political and military leadership to predict and prevent any future threat to national security. Also "endowed" with the vaguely worded mission statement "to carry out any other actions as deemed fit by the president of the United States", born was the CIA, the epitome of powerful, motivated and secretive government power, with little effective congressional oversight, far from public knowledge, and easily cloaked under the umbrella of "national security interests". "Battling and deterring the spread of communism" was the oft applied justification until recent years, but subservience to U.S. economic interests was the primary impetus, without fail. And dictators are far easier to control and preferable to a democracy, as long as the dictator remains cooperative.

In pursuit of mission and specializing in everything from propaganda campaigns, arming, training and equipping local forces, crushing labor unions and independent news media, training secret police forces in population control and overthrowing duly elected leaders was considered business as usual and a job well done. Failure in the mention of kidnapping, torture and murder/assassination would be, again, engaging in a child's game; see, hear and speak no evil.

But the very real consequence of these U.S. government sanctioned actions is no game, whatsoever. The entirety of the current fanatical Islamic disdain for the U.S. can be traced directly back to U.S. actions in the Middle East, almost exclusively by the CIA. The overthrow of president Mossedeq in Iran in 1953, while installing and supporting the Shah for 26 years in his place, supporting, arming and training an immense army in Afghanistan against the invading Soviets throughout the 80's, and actively supporting Saddam Hussein, (for the duration of his usefulness), are prime examples, yet far from a complete picture. Significant U.S. financial support and seemingly blind endorsement of Israeli policies and actions against its Arab neighbors will continue to be a major factor in any relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world, forever.

Beginning with the seizure of American hostages, (now admitted to have been CIA operatives for the U.S. embassy), in Iran in 1979 to the U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Zaire, the bombing of the USS Cole and right up to the attacks of 911, to those unable, (or unwilling), to connect the dots, U.S. covert actions, past and present, will continue to confound the hopeful and inflame hatreds on all sides.

Ray
|
Texas, USA
November 16, 2007

Ray in Texas writes:

I am now 62. I have been in the service of our country off and on for over 40 years. The people who object to an assignment to a war zone should be given the option of resigning. They aren't worth the salt it would take to bury them. They signed an agreement to serve where appointed at the need of the government, just like those in the military. The luxury they have is that they are civilians, effectively. If they don't want to live up to their contract, then they should leave and let those of us who will live up to our word, serve. If that makes me a stupid patriot, then so be it! Many of us have the motto "Love it or Leave it!"

Schmetterling
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 16, 2007

S in Washington, DC writes:

Sometimes, I want to beat a topic to death (note, I did not say, "a dead horse," which I think is a reprehensible saying, and is inapposite here anyway). Sorry to disagree with you Marty in Washington DC, but I did not miss the point at all. The point being, that Ambassador Brinker has an image to cultivate with the world, and it should not be messy or uncoordinated, because that reflects poorly on the person's nature, and trust me, people around the world notice things like that in a U.S. State Department Protocol Chief. And David in Panama, look at that picture again: I hate to tell you this, but, contrary to what you posted, Prime Minister Sarkozy is not looking at the Ambassador. At all-he's looking past her at someone else-probably because he can't stand looking at that ugly, sloppily tied scarf she has around her neck!

Again, look to the boss, Secretary Rice, for pointers on how to put together a faultlessly coordinated outfit, from jewelry, to footwear to outerwear-"La Rice" (as they call her in Italy) is right on the mark!

Dana R.
|
New York, USA
November 17, 2007

Dana in New York writes:

@ S in Washington, DC -- The irony is that Ambassador Brinker is wearing a $850 Hermes French scarf. In fact if you have access to their Fall 07 collection as I do you'll see that she has it tied exactly as Hermes is showing it for Fall. Get a grip! We should be so lucky to have someone like Ambassador Brinker serving in this capacity. Talk about someone with a real sense of style and dignity and most importantly leadership. I agree with one of the other comments...if my daughter can grow up to achieve half her accomplishments I'd be over the moon. Thank you Ambassador Brinker for your blog. I found it very insightful (with the exception of some of the odd scarf comments that I felt compelled to clarify when I recognized the scarf as Hermes)

Michael M.
|
West Virginia, USA
November 18, 2007

Michael writes:

Scarfs and fashion statements remind me of polite conversations that are ladened with fluff, completely missing the salient points, and the hard, uncomfortable realities The ballroom decorated with finely groomed and elegantly appointed aristocrats only occasionally touching on the forbidden topics, such as the surfs and peasants toiling in the fields, living in squalor.

Carrying on a "discussion", completely ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room demands quite a special talent.

The most telling statement, seemingly dictating the tone, of not only the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, but of the entire current administration, is an assertion by the then National Security Advisor to the President, now, the highest ranking diplomat of the United States government.

At the 911 Commission hearings, Condoleezza Rice, under oath, actually said: "... no one could have for seen terrorists flying hijacked airliners into buildings."

Such a blatant lie, straight faced, regarding a matter of the highest significance. And she goes on to become the U.S. Secretary of State. Incredible. If this one, single example doesn't remind you of the "business as usual" mind set of this administration, you're likely not paying attention.

And any conversation about U.S. "diplomatic efforts", without recognizing the ever-present heavy hand of covert U.S. actions, well hidden from US television screens, is simply more fluff. Ignoring the crucial effect of this very real component employed in the relations between the U.S. and our foreign counterparts is, quite frankly, absurd. Those effects are real, wide ranging and lasting.

There is no more powerful organization on the planet earth than that of the United States government. And the mechanisms by which this power can be misused and abused is, quite simply, deeply flawed. A largely apathetic, seemingly gullible majority of the U.S. public gives key holders of power a default legitimacy.

Manufactured public consent, carefully crafted by the professional opinion makers, employed by the hegemonists, the neo-cons and the fear and hate mongers was once wildly successful. And as I see the pendulum beginning to return, as the lynch mob has grown weary, maybe more aware, again, I am hopeful that calmer heads will eventually prevail.

Alex
|
Uganda
November 18, 2007

Alex in Uganda writes:

Great job!

Actually saw your picture with our president (Museveni) when he was in the States recently.

Keep up the great work and don't lose sight of the other side of diplomacy that you are good at, i.e. Health awareness.

Last but not least, we are grateful for all the great work that is being done in Iraq on an inter-departmental way, especially with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams that are bringing services nearer the people.

I have a personal experience with devolution of power and services and that's the way to go for the US government hearts and minds campaign.

Schmetterling
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 21, 2007

S in Washington, DC writes:

Hey Dana, sorry, either your eyesight is off, or you must be looking at a fake Hermes 2007 collection, because I went to Hermes, and Hermes U.S.A, went through every single one of the orange scarf collections, all of them, and there was not one of them which looked anything like the ugly scarf that the chief of protocol has on in the picture above.

And like I said, President Sarkozy isn't looking at her, because that ugly scarf, and the careless way she has it tied, was probably too much for him to look at, so he had to look away!

The truth hurts, but it is better that Ambassador Brinker hear criticism, and then learn how to put her look together with a little more care and consideration when she is meeting and greeting the heads of state-because first impressions count for everything. She needs to sit down with a professional clothing assistant and actually give some thought to her look, rather than carelessly throwing something on that is really an eyesore!

.

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