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Hillary Clinton heard about this Cabinet meeting on the radio that morning

A June 8, 2009 meeting of President Obama's "Cabinet" to discuss stimulus implementation.
A June 8, 2009 meeting of President Obama's "Cabinet" to discuss stimulus implementation.
Pete Souza / White House
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

Pictured above is an event that White House official schedule for June 8, 2009 billed as a meeting between President Obama and his Cabinet. Hillary Clinton is absent.

Six years later, the State Department has posted a batch of Hillary Clinton's emails from her tenure as Secretary, which shed some light on why she was missing. It turns out she was unaware the meeting was taking place at all, and only heard about it on the radio that morning:

HRC Cabinet 1

Sounds serious — an important meeting of the president's Cabinet, and Clinton didn't even know about it? An email from one of her staffers sheds some light on what happened:

HRC Cabinet

Indeed, the various Cabinet agencies have little in common, and when the Cabinet is convened as a body, it's usually for a meeting that's less important than it appears. When told what the meeting was about (stimulus implementation), Clinton decided it wasn't necessary for her to go — but she wanted a representative there:

HRC cabinet 3

Patrick Kennedy, the Under Secretary of State for Management, was confirmed to be the State Department's representative:

HRC Cabinet 4

The official photos of this meeting posted to the White House Flickr feed do show some Cabinet Secretaries present — like Attorney General Eric Holder, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — but the White House conspicuously neglected to post a clear shot of the whole table. Perhaps because it would more clearly show who was missing.

OBama Cabinet 2

(Pete Souza / White House)

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