Hillary Clinton Is Ambivalent About the Kardashians

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in Australia on an official visit, was interviewed by radio hosts Hamish and Andy. And who should come up but our greatest cultural export: The Kardashian family?

Here's the full interview, via Hamish and Andy:

Politico's Ben Smith has the transcript of Clinton's response, and one reason why it's important she take these trips:

Q: Is the impetus for these trips that you feel this sort of a mismatch or imbalance, perhaps, between the way America is perceived and as you as the secretary of state are the conduit to the rest of the world from America with how America's perceived and what America's message is?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that's a fair question and I would say yes. I think that for young people today, this is such a busy, almost overstimulated, environment that you all come to maturity in, and I think the United States has a deep understanding among people who are older because of the military alliances, the wars we've fought against totalitarianism in the 20th century and the like. But for young people, there's a lot of other things going on and -

Q: The Kardashians give us a lot of our (inaudible) import.

SECRETARY CLINTON: The Kardashians, exactly. If you look at American TV as much of the rest of the world does, you would think we all went around wrestling and wearing bikinis. I mean, that's what you would think we spend our entire day doing, right?

First of all: This is the second time this week, at least, that one of the Clintons has commented, vaguely, on contemporary pop cultural figures (Bill had some words of advice for Lil' Wayne). Second of all: Isn't that what we spend our entire day doing?

[Hamish and Andy via Ben Smith/Politico]