On Monday, President Barack Obama made history by becoming the first American president ever to visit Cambodia and Myanmar, but the momentousness of the occasion didn’t seem to fully register with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was caught on film dozing off.
In his speech, Obama emphasized that the United States would support Myanmar as it implements new reforms, and offered support to other countries willing to “unclench their fist” in what many interpreted as a gesture toward North Korea. Obama also spoke of the freedoms he hoped Myanmar would embrace.
“You’re taking a journey that has the potential to inspire so many people,” he said. "A process of democratic and economic reform here in Myanmar that has been begun by the president is one that can lead to incredible development opportunities."
Throughout the speech, CNN cameras panned over to Clinton as she sat in the crowd of some 1,500 attendees at the University of Yangon. Clinton was seated next to Aung San Suu Kyi, the renowned Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who now sits in parliament and whom Obama met and commended for her efforts at moving the country toward democracy.
At the beginning of the televised speech, Clinton was shown nodding along with Obama and looking engaged. But as his speech came to a close, she seemed to lose her enthusiasm, closing her eyes and appearing to fall asleep.
Obama also met with Myanmar’s leader, President Thein Sein, sending a serious signal that he was serious about cooperating with the country. "We couldn't even think of that two or three months ago," said Rebecca Htin, a memory of the Karen minority, in an interview with the Associated Press. "The message is clear. We are moving more toward democracy. That's encouraging for me."
View the video below to see the footage of Secretary Clinton.
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