All too human : (a political education) by Clinton, Bill; Stephanopoulos, George; Clinton, Bill

By Clinton, Bill; Stephanopoulos, George; Clinton, Bill

A detailed examine what it was once like being the president's correct hand guy in the course of a really tricky time.

summary: a detailed examine what it used to be like being the president's correct hand guy in the course of a truly tough time

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The whole country would soon know about it, and the president would need to respond. I pulled out my notepad and struggled to scratch out appropriate words of consolation and hope. Nothing came, but it didn't matter. Clinton did what he always seemed to do so well at times like this, saying exactly the right thing, in exactly the right way. He's still got it — best politician I've ever seen. Then I walked across the Oval, opened a door, and found myself in a pocket-sized room — windowless and bare, except for nude pinups of Monica pasted on its walls.

It didn't work. After the tawdry excesses of 1988, political elites were groping for a shared understanding of how much privacy a public figure deserved and what was fair game in the heat of a campaign.

Staffers always defer to senators, but as Kerrey spoke to us from behind his enormous desk, I noticed a slow nodding of heads that suggested that the words Kerrey spoke were deeper than your average political talk — that the senator's terse replies were political koans. A cool but unmistakably messianic zeal hummed just below the surface of the Kerrey campaign. I wasn't immune to it, and had I joined his team, I probably would have succumbed to it. But after the meeting, when I met with Kerrey's campaign manager to discuss the logistics of a possible job, she was distracted and slightly dismissive, unsure how I'd fit into their top-heavy hierarchy.

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