I accidentally called Hillary Clinton ‘Monica’ when I interviewed her

I tried to save it by saying ‘oh no, not Lewinsky…’

Have you ever said something and the first thought you have after is “oh fuck”? One of those moments where you’re not really thinking straight, and inadvertently words come tumbling out of your mouth, words which compose the worst possible sentence you could say at that given time to the person you’re speaking to?

Well at least you haven’t called the current Democratic frontrunner by the first name of the woman her husband had an affair with.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 4.30.31 PM

I was riding on the high of being given a press pass to a small gathering where Secretary Hillary Clinton was talking to people of the small town of Monticello, Iowa. She showed up extremely late, so while waiting standing crushed with all the other reporters I started to make friends. Standing to my right there was a woman from the New York Times, to my left a woman named Monica who was a contact for MSNBC.


Smiling before the crushing awkwardness

Monica and I talked about how cool it was that as a high school newspaper, The Little Hawk was gaining access to all the various political events that were taking place in the spring/summer of 2015 and was actually doing good coverage of it. Just the week before I had gone to a Rand Paul rally.


‘Do you see my outfit? This is me dressin’ like an Iowan’ – Rand Paul

Finally after waiting for much longer than anticipated Hillary came out to greet the press, I was towards the end and she walked down the line shaking hands of the small few that were left, walking in front of her was the woman who was in charge of media for the campaign shaking hands as well thanking people for staying.

At some point her head of media must have stepped back to do something because without looking I reached out and shook the hand coming towards me, looking to my side and saying “it’s nice meeting you, Monica” as a farewell to the MSNBC correspondent next to me.

I then realized the face the arm was attached to was in fact not the head of media, but the former Secretary of State.

To be frank, I have NO idea why my instant response was what it was. I freaked out because it was my first time meeting a presidential candidate hopeful face to face. Right after I looked up to see that it was Secretary Clinton holding my hand, and recollecting that her husbands accused mistress’ name was Monica I instantly went into blabber mode.

“Oh I meant her… not Lewinsky.”

Clinton's 'Are you kidding me?!' face

Clinton’s ‘Are you kidding me?!’ face

Granted the “not Lewinsky” part was under my breath I didn’t expect her to hear it but instantly her face went from smiling a grand fake smile to an instant “are you kidding me” pissed off face. I think all could have been fine but then I started to nervous giggle, and to hide my giggling I started talking about how much respect I have for her and that it is cool what she’s doing for school. She let go of my hand without saying anything and went up and said something to her head of media and continued down the line.

The head of media came up and told me that Secretary Clinton would no longer be taking any questions from me and it would just be best if I left.

So all in all, the moral of this story is to always look at who you’re shaking hands with, and if you say the wrong name, make sure it’s at least not someone who gave their husband a blowjob.

University of Iowa national-us