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Diplomatic 'girl power' on display at the State Department

From Elise Labott, CNN Senior State Department Producer
  • Clinton and Biden host a state luncheon in German Chancellor Merkel's honor
  • The secretary of state says she first met Merkel in the 1990s
  • "She was introduced to me as a young woman who will go far," Clinton says
  • That proved to be true, Clinton adds

Washington (CNN) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel share a love of democracy, women's rights and pantsuits.

Together, they exhibited a good deal of diplomatic "girl power" Tuesday at a state luncheon hosted by Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden in Merkel's honor.

In toasting Merkel, Clinton recalled how she met the chancellor back in the 1990s.

"She was not yet chancellor, I was not yet secretary, and we actually were on a television show, an interview show, together in Berlin," Clinton said. "And she was introduced to me as a young woman who will go far."

As Clinton said, that proved to be true.

Merkel rounded out the mutual admiration society when she presented Clinton with a framed copy of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper. On the front page was a photo of two pantsuit-clad women from the waist down, with the caption "Which one is Merkel and which one is Clinton?" The following page of the paper showed the full photo of both women taken during Clinton's last visit to Germany.

Everyone got a good laugh with what Merkel called her "playful gift," including the secretary of state -- and Merkel's point that women are more often wearing the pants in global politics wasn't lost on Clinton or the crowd.