Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

The Bill Clinton Tapes

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:35 PM
Original message
The Bill Clinton Tapes
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 03:42 PM by IndianaGreen
It has been nearly forty years since three young Democratic activists named Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham, and Taylor Branch moved into a small apartment together in Austin, Texas, to wage a presidential campaign for George McGovern. In the decades since, the Clintons have taken that political fire to the center of American political life, while Branch has chosen a quieter course, writing three definitive volumes on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and winning both the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur genius grant. Yet at the height of Bill Clintons ascentfor the full eight years of the presidencythe historian and the politician reunited for a secret project, hidden from even Clintons closest aides. Meeting late at night and sometimes through the night, Clinton and Branch embarked on a series of seventy-nine conversations about politics, the presidents, the Whitewater investigation, and yes, even Monicarecording every word for posterity. Acutely aware that their tapes could be subpoenaed at any moment and desperate to avoid making them public, Clinton squirreled away the cassettes in his sock drawer and has never spoken of them nor made them public. But this month, Branch releases a 670-page mammoth tome, The Clinton Tapes, that mines those conversations and delves into Clintons presidency and state of mind through a tumultuous and historic eight years. Branch sat down on the sprawling porch of his Victorian home in Baltimore to discuss the project, the experience, and the book.WIL S. HYLTON

The Bill Clinton Tapes

A Q&A with Taylor Branch, author of 'The Clinton Tapes'


The Bill Clinton in this book is very different than the version we came to know in the press. You describe a guy who was steadfast and idealistic, very different from the wishy-washy, flip-flopping caricature who let Dick Morris tell him what to do.

It was almost like a credential for old liberals to look down on Clinton, because if you looked down on Clinton, you could say, Hes betrayed liberalism, but you didnt have to uphold anything yourself. All you had to do was talk about what a shit he was or what a sellout he was and you could get this cheap credential.

Meanwhile, youre seeing this guy whose face is red with allergies, hes so tired that his eyes are rolling back in his head. Hes the last fighting baby boomer.

Well, yeah. For example, I admire Obama greatly, but if you compare Clinton and Obama on the National Rifle Association, Obama said, Its not worth it. Right from the get-go. You cant win. And Clinton was going after the NRA and assault weapons and cop-killer bullets the whole time. And he paid for it, and maybe it was a mistake, because it certainly hurt him in the 1994 congressional elections. But he did stick to his guns, as it were. He took risks. On Haitirestoring Aristide. I would hear him say it: This is going to hurt my presidency. Or, I could go down the tubes for this.

In all the Kennedy and Johnson tapes youve listened to, do you hear the same resolve?

In some ways, Kennedy was just the opposite. People would idealize him, but then on the tapes, you hear him trying to kill Castro and all this other stuff. Its disillusioning. And Johnson does the Civil Rights bill, but then he does the Vietnam Warand you hear them saying essentially, We know this is not going to work, but were going to do it anyway. Then Nixon promises to end the war, and four years later the war is still going. Then you have Watergate. So it was kind of like we had this postWorld War II optimism about politics that was yanked out of our generation by hard experience. In some ways, Hillary and I were more typical of our generation than Bill. We were bruised and disillusioned with politics. We had more in common with each other politically than either of us had with Bill. He seemed to be on automatic pilot: Im going to run for office! At the time, I didnt connect that to idealism. I connected it to ambition. The notion that it came from a sense of idealism didnt rear up for me until I was able to watch him in the White House, seeing why he would do things.

http://men.style.com/gq/blogs/gqeditors/2009/09/secret-...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. neat. interesting read.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Chris Matthews is a very happy man
He's got new fodder on the Clintons. The man is probably in a bathroom stroking himself into ecstasy right now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Have you even read any part of the story?
Was he a Lothario in 1972?

No, and I was sharing an apartment with he and Hillary. I had just separated from my wife, had virtually no social life, and they were all over each other. The only story was that we were having a hard time getting this woman politician to endorse McGovern, and the McGovern campaign sent in a guy who had worked for Jack Kennedy. So he met her, and came back and said, She just needs to get laid. I know just the guy. We were stunned. And then we realized he was serious! He went to the phone to call this guy in Boston and bring him down to Texas! And Clinton took the phone from him and said, Were not gonna do that, and if you do that, were leaving. I didnt do anything. I was paralyzed. And in retrospect, if Clinton was cynical about women, I would think he would have been more like that guy. Now, maybe he developed it later. I really dont know.

http://men.style.com/gq/blogs/gqeditors/2009/09/secret-...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. They were talking about Bill and Hillary making out on MSNBC earlier
and Norah O'Donnell said something to the effect that she didn't believe it.

Trust me, anything remotely to do with the Clintons is enough to get Matthews stirred up and salivating. Any revelation about their personal life is enough to send Matthews into a mouth-foaming tail-spin into gossip and innuendo.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Norah O'Donnell is an idiot!
This is how Taylor Branch described the Clinton's relationship:

Sometimes when I tell people that they finish each others sentences, people say, Thats because its a power alliance. Like a medieval marriage between the prince of Spain and the queen of Austria. But theres warmth there. Theres communion. They would hold hands. How much eroticism is in there, I have no idea. But it was striking.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yes, she is
and it was her reaction that made me think that Matthews is going to spend his show on his Clinton fetish.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Tweety comes on at 5 pm
I don't have the stomach to watch him.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I'm taking a break from cleaning
but the bathroom is next. So, I will be cleaning the toilet about the time Matthews comes on. Somehow, the timing seems appropriate.

And I'll apologize for highjacking your thread if Matthews doesn't go with it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Now, that's perfect timing!
Cleaning the toilet while motor mouth is on.

:P
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. Mostly agree, but the whole NRA thing doesn't work for me.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 05:41 PM by Drunken Irishman
There were issues Clinton could have taken head on but pushed back a bit due to pressures and understanding of the consequences. He was not perfect. No politician is.

And back in 1993, America was MORE open to the idea of gun control than they are today.

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/06/04/us/majority-in-poll-b...

Do you think you could find a majority of Americans today who would say the same thing?

Well here is a poll from 2007, where only 33% of Americans believed in banning hand guns.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/23/opinion/polls...

It was a different climate that made it a bit easier for Clinton to address the gun issue.

But it's hit such a level here today, Pres. Obama would be signing defeat if he touched it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Dec 20th 2014, 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC