Would You Ever Ask a Man that Question?

Hillary Clinton? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: I saw on Facebook recently a supposed quotation from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While visiting some country in Central Asia she was asked by a reporter about fashion and she replied:

Would you ever ask a man that question?

No details were given about when or where this remark was made. Is this a real quote?

Quote Investigator: The official U.S. State Department website has a transcript for Hillary Clinton’s visit to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on December 2, 2010. The following interchange is listed [HCKG]:

MODERATOR 1: Okay. Which designers do you prefer?
SECRETARY CLINTON: What designers of clothes?
MODERATOR 1: Yes.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Would you ever ask a man that question? (Laughter.) (Applause.)
MODERATOR 1: Probably not. Probably not. (Applause.)
MODERATOR 2: How many hours do you sleep?
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s my answer.
MODERATOR 1: Yeah, I got it. I got it. That was a tough one.

In conclusion, the quotation is accurate, and the interaction took place in 2010 in Kyrgyzstan.

(Thanks to Brandi Sperry whose tweet inspired this exploration, and thanks to James Callan who notified QI of Sperry’s interrogative.)

[HCKG] U.S. Department of State website, Transcript, Townterview Hosted by KTR, Remarks: Hillary Rodham Clinton – Secretary of State, KTR Studio: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Date: December 2, 2010. (Accessed at state.gov on September 6, 2012) link

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