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Clinton gets welcome-back helmet

Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a gag present appropriate for the rough-and-tumble world of politics when she returned to work Monday: a football helmet.

Clinton returned to her soon-to-be vacated post Monday for the first time since suffering a concussion and a blood clot, officials said.

During a weekly staff meeting, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides presented Clinton a gift, telling her, "As you know, Washington is a contact sport," department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland recounted.

The helmet has the State Department seal and "lots of good padding," Nuland said.

Clinton also got a football jersey that has "Clinton" and the number 112, "which symbolizes the number of countries that she's visited as secretary of state," Nuland said.

"And she loved it," the spokeswoman said. "She thought it was cool."

Clinton has meetings scheduled this week with outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and national security adviser Tom Donilon and events planned for Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit to Washington, CNN reported.

Clinton also has had conversations with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., President Obama's nominee to succeed her as secretary of state, Nuland said.

"She has been talking to him virtually non-stop," the spokeswoman said. "As I said last week, she is 100 percent committed to having the smoothest possible transition to helping him as much as possible, and she'll be available as much as he needs her."

Clinton was discharged from the hospital Wednesday, three days after being admitted for the treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her skull and brain. Doctors discovered the clot during a medical test related to a concussion Clinton suffered in December when she fell.

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