The Truth-O-Meter Says:

As first lady, Clinton would travel to places that were "too small, too poor or too dangerous" for the president.

Hillary Clinton on Monday, March 17th, 2008 in Washington, D.C.

She was no emissary to the obscure

Right before delivering a speech on Iraq policy at George Washington University on March 17, 2008, Hillary Clinton reflected on her days traveling as first lady. It was then that she said she remembered landing under sniper fire in Bosnia, a claim that's been widely debunked. (Including by us: We called it a Pants on Fire fib.)

She also said, "There was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor or too dangerous, the president couldn't go, so send the first lady, and that's where we went."

We analyzed Clinton's international travel based on recently released White House schedules, interviews with traveling companions and scholars, as well as news reports from those trips. We found that Clinton went to many places that were large, wealthy and safe. We documented travel to 82 countries, and the top 10 list looks like an itinerary any travel agent could sell.

Our analysis showed that when Hillary Clinton traveled without her husband during the eight years she was first lady, she spent the most days in these countries:

Morocco 7

Austria 6

India 6

Italy 6

Switzerland 6

Turkey 6

Czech Republic 5

Egypt 5

Israel 5

Poland 5

They may not be the top NATO allies, but we can't consider any of these countries to meet the trifecta of small, poor and dangerous. Yes, she did go to places like Iceland (pretty small), Eritrea (poor) and Bosnia (arguably dangerous at the time she visited). But her travel itinerary is hardly a tour of the world's most obscure countries. Rather, her travels tended to emphasize stable allies of the United States, many of which are quite populous.

To view our interactive map of Clinton's foreign trips as first lady, click here.

When she traveled with President Clinton, her schedule may have been a little more glamorous, with more time spent in France, England and Russia. But her solo itinerary was no tour of tiny, dangerous places. So we find her statement to be Barely True.

Editor's note: This statement was rated Barely True when it was published. On July 27, 2011, we changed the name for the rating to Mostly False.
About this statement:

Published: Friday, April 4th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Foreign Policy


St. Petersburg Times/PolitiFact analysis of news accounts and the Hillary Rodham Clinton White House Travel schedules

New York Times, Hillary Rodham Clinton's White House Schedules

Written by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Researched by: Robert Farley, Will Short Gorham, Angie Drobnic Holan
Edited by: Scott Montgomery

How to contact us:

We want to hear your suggestions and comments.

For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.

For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.

Browse The Truth-O-MeterTM: