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The Globe and Mail

Hillary Clinton tells you how to pull off 'the gift face'

Her critics have called her the Wicked Witch of the West Wing. Some say her chilly demeanor was what truly cost her the Democratic nomination in 2008. But after a trip down under, we can see that beneath that tough exterior: Hillary Clinton is quite charming and quick-witted.

In this interview with Australian comedians known as Hamish and Andy that's been making the rounds, Ms. Clinton trades jokes with her interviewers about globe trotting, ordering takeout with Bill and wrestling (though perhaps not in the best light). And instead of the tight-lipped smile we're used to seeing, she frequently erupts into a wild, gregarious laugh.

But really, we're most charmed by Ms. Clinton's sage advice on a very seasonal topic: how do you react when you're on the receiving end of a not-so-great gift?

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At the start of the interview, her hosts present her with a bag of gravy-flavoured potato chips.

"I am thrilled," she exclaims. "Can I tell you how much this means to me?"

When pressed for how to come off as gracious, no matter what you receive, she says:

"Usually it is a very happy expression on one's face. Now sometimes the gifts are really hard to do that with. ...We take them all, we do thank-you notes."

And then, with much sincerity, she holds out that bag of unappetizing chips. "You will get a thank you note for this."

U.S. Secretary of State by day, Emily Post by night.

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