Hillary Clinton parties in Colombia: Photos of dancing, beer-slugging secretary of state cause stir

Clinton dancing at Cafe Havana, April 15, 2012. (AFP)

Over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut loose during her trip to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, partying at a local club early Sunday morning.

And while the outing may be fairly typical of visitors to Latin American countries, photos showing Clinton dancing and throwing back a bottle of beer proved too irresistible for the tabloid press.

According to the New York Post, Clinton arrived at Cartagena's Cafe Havana with a dozen female aides just after midnight.

"Clinton quickly proved she's just a regular gal when it comes to drinking," the Post reported. "She eschewed a glass and sucked down her Aguila pilsener cerveza straight from the bottle."

According to a local paper cited by TMZ, Clinton and her party "ordered a dozen beers, two glasses of whiskey and bottles of water."

TMZ dubbed her the "Secretary of PARTYING." Sadly, Clinton's impromptu soiree lasted just half an hour.

The photo (below) landed on the Post's front page. The headline: "SWILLARY."

"Front page picture of 'Swillary' Clinton is brutally unfair," Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under George W. Bush and current CNN analyst, wrote on Twitter. "She drank a beer at a summit meeting event. So what?"

London's Telegraph latched onto the photos, too. "Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?" the paper's Niles Gardner asked in a blog post.

"Hillary Clinton will be the inspiration for my return to salsa this week," Salon's Irin Carmon tweeted.

Clinton throws back a beer in Colombia, April 15, 2012. (AFP/Getty)

This is not the first time Hillary's drinking on a diplomatic trip has been fodder for the press. In 2006, the New York Times relayed a 2004 anecdote about a vodka-drinking contest between Clinton and Sen. John McCain:

Two summers ago, on a Congressional trip to Estonia, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton astonished her traveling companions by suggesting that the group do what one does in the Baltics: hold a vodka-drinking contest.

Delighted, the leader of the delegation, Senator John McCain, quickly agreed. The after-dinner drinks went so well— memories are a bit hazy on who drank how much—that Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, later told people how unexpectedly engaging he found Mrs. Clinton to be. "One of the guys" was the way he described Mrs. Clinton, a New York Democrat, to some Republican colleagues.

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