New York Times Says 'Role Model' Hillary Clinton Just Works Too Darn Hard: 'Herculean Work Habits'

New York Times reporter Mark Landler extolled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the "role model," for her "indomitable stamina" and "herculean work habits," but is concerned that the possible presidential candidate is just too darn committed to her job in Saturday's "Scare Amplifies Fears That Clinton's Work Has Taken Heavy Toll." The Benghazi scandal, in which Clinton has yet to testify, is mentioned only in passing.

When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fractured her right elbow after slipping in a State Department garage in June 2009, she returned to work in just a few days. Her arm in a sling, she juggled speeches and a trip to India and Thailand with physical therapy, rebuilding a joint held together with wire and pins.

It was vivid evidence of Mrs. Clinton’s indomitable stamina and work ethic -- as a first lady, senator, presidential candidate and, for the past four years, the most widely traveled secretary of state in American history.

But after a fall at home in December that caused a concussion, and a subsequent diagnosis of a blood clot in her head, it has taken much longer for Mrs. Clinton to bounce back. She was released from a hospital in New York on Wednesday, accompanied by her daughter, Chelsea, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. On Thursday, she told colleagues that she hoped to be in the office next week.

While praising Clinton's devotion to duty, Landler tread lightly on speculation that her medical mishap might hurt her chances of the presidency in 2016.

It is not just a matter of duty, Ms. Verveer and others said. Mrs. Clinton genuinely relishes the work, pursuing a brand of personal diplomacy that, she argues, requires her to travel to more places than her predecessors.

While there is no medical evidence that Mrs. Clinton’s clot was caused by her herculean work habits, her cascade of recent health problems, beginning with a stomach virus, has prompted those who know her best to say that she desperately needs a long rest. Her first order of business after leaving the State Department in the coming weeks, they say, should be to take care of herself.

Some even wonder whether this setback will -- or should -- temper the feverish speculation that she will make another run for the White House in 2016.


Given Mrs. Clinton’s enduring status as a role model, Ms. Chesler said women would be watching which path she decides to take, as they plan their own transitions out of the working world.

After all the hype over Hillary Clinton as "the most widely traveled secretary of state in American history," he eventually pointed out deep in that her predecessor actually logged more miles.

But her illness has scuttled further travel, including hopes for a valedictory tour of Asia or the Middle East. Mrs. Clinton holds the record for the most countries visited by a secretary of state, 112, though her total of 956,733 air miles will fall short of the 1.06 million logged by her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice.