Hillary Clinton: To The Loser Goes The Spoils

07/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary Clinton was taking the elevator up to her Senate office yesterday for the first time since she lost the Democratic presidential nomination when one of her aides, Philippe Reines, warned her about the condition of her office.

In her months-long absence, Reines cautioned, "things have gotten a little casual."

The vanquished candidate swung open the door of her private office and found two of her legislative assistants in T-shirts, caps and sunglasses playing at a ping-pong table while the rest of the staff cheered them on. Clinton tossed her head back with her famous laughter, then sat on the couch to watch Mike Szymanski score match point against colleague Ann Gavaghan.

The girl had lost -- again! To the ping-pong loser, Clinton had some empathetic advice. "Ann," she said, "you have to be very gracious in defeat."

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