Hillary Clinton parties in Colombia nightclub

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 17 2012 10:58 AM | Updated as of Apr 17 2012 06:59 PM

CARTAGENA, Colombia - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, known for her hard work and gruelling schedule, took a rare moment off at the weekend and let her hair down to enjoy a dance and a beer with friends.

Just hours after attending Saturday's official dinner for the heads of state and government attending a Latin American summit in the Colombian tourist resort of Cartagena, Clinton was seen partying in a nearby nightclub.

Still attired in the smart black evening pant suit set off by an impressive sparkly necklace that she wore to the dinner, Clinton was seen enjoying herself at a late-night gathering of her staff in the Cafe Havana.

A State Department official told AFP the US top diplomat had heard that staffers were celebrating the birthday of Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs.

"When she heard some of the staff had gone dancing to celebrate A/S Jacobson's birthday, and the party was still going on when the summit dinner ended, she wanted to stop by. So yes, she joined the party in progress," the official said, asking to remain anonymous.

Casting off her usually stuffy world of diplomatic niceties and thorny global issues, Clinton was seen smiling and dancing, surrounded by a crowd of women, as well as sitting at a table sharing a joke and drinking a beer.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that Clinton had "a very good time and was just enjoying some of the nightlife in Cartagena with colleagues."

Toner dismissed a question on whether her actions were appropriate, saying: "It's kind of a 'dog bites man' story. You know, there's nothing to it."

Pictures of Clinton's happy moment went viral, the second time in recent days that her fun side has become an instant hit on the Internet.

On Tuesday, the creators of "Texts from Hillary," a spoof blog featuring photos of a sunglasses-sporting Clinton reading her Blackberry inside a C-17 military cargo plane, were invited to the State Department to meet her.

She then posted her own texts onto the blog on the popular Tumblr platform.

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