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Max Cleland Memoir: Former Senator Unloads On Enemies, Dishes Lewinsky Dirt

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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:33 PM
Original message
Max Cleland Memoir: Former Senator Unloads On Enemies, Dishes Lewinsky Dirt
In his detailed recounting of that hellish time, Cleland in particular expresses outrage at the negative ads that cost him his Senate seat. Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss ran TV commercials featuring Cleland alongside photos of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, falsely implying that the Senator had voted against the proposed Department of Homeland Security.

Soon after the ad started running, GOP Senators John McCain and Chuck Hagel expressed their outrage at the dirty tactics. Cleland says that Hagel approached him and went so far as to offer to do a TV spot rebutting the hateful Chambliss ad "even though it was being aired by his own party." Saxby Chambliss got wind of what Hagel had proposed. He called Chuck seven times in one day begging him not to side with me. Hagel asked him to take the ad down. Instead, Chambliss modified the ad somewhat, but still ran it.

Cleland still burns with indignation when the recalls the campaign and the negative ads that hurt McCain during the 2000 primary in South Carolina and the Swift Boat Veterans ads that helped defeat John Kerry in 2004.

snip

One of Cleland's aides, Trey Ragsdale, was in the same intern class as Lewinsky and Cleland writes that Ragsdale told him that Lewinsky was on the prowl for the president from the moment she arrived in Washington, D.C. Soon after arriving in the capital, Ragsdale, Lewinsky and other interns started going out to a local bar for drinks where the conversation turned to what they'd all like to do in Washington from visiting museums to padding resumes. According to Cleland, Lewinksy's response stunned the group: "I want to earn my presidential knee pads."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/max-cleland-me...

Saxby Chambliss and Monica Lewinsky both earned knee pads.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. kick. nt
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. wow -- this needs a kick -- :)
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TroglodyteScholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kick again!
Cleland would serve the state of Georgia SO much better than either of those hicks they have now. It's criminal how his political career was ended.
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. Cleland was defeated by Diebold, not by any supposed Repub tactic.
If he had figured that out at the time AND YELLED ABOUT THE OBVIOUS, we wouldn't be in the state we are now w/ unverfiable or unverified, secretly counted elections where pre-election polls and exit polls differ substantially from the alleged vote count and nobody does a thing about it.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. Thanks for posting about it
kr
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
6. Of course Lewinski wanted Clinton, but that doesn't excuse him.
But still it was never anything he should have been impeached over.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. No, it doesn't excuse him, but I get tired of hearing some people refer
to Lewinsky as a helpless, innocent young woman. She had aspirations when she came to DC and she achieved them.
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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Even before arriving in D.C., in Portland,
Lewinsky used the presidential kneepads line on her former professor/lover.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. That's right. I've read accounts that were apparently written by people
who knew of the situation that outlined how she stalked the professor when he tried to end their affair. Going after older, married men in a position of influence was nothing new to her.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. Exactly! Bill was wrong but Monica is
No little innocent. She was on the hunt for him. He should not have taken the bait, but she is accountable too.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. Delete
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 06:50 PM by SeattleGirl
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. But weren't we told that LEWINSKY was off limits, her motives?!1 That any defense was attacking the
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 10:38 AM by UTUSN
victim?!1


Plus, I wish all of these people would TALK back at the time that things are happening!1
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Alameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Victim???? How on earth was she a victim?
She was a predator...besides that, who the hell cares what two consenting adults did? It's not like they made a public display of it. Don't forget, it cost over $50,000,000..............to prove it. To me, all the attention, all the money spent searching for evidence were acts of treason..............then to add insult to the whole damned thing, they had to publish all the lurid details on the Internet...... :banghead:
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
11. kick. nt
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sounds like a juicy book...n/t
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
14. i always thought that monica
was sent. makes a lot of things add up.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. She was sent
This wasn't just a case of a Sexaholics Anonymous parvenu stalking bigger and bigger prize game heads to mount over her crowded mantel. She was manuevered (at the very least) by Lucienne Goldberg, who was the protege of Richard Nixon's favorite dirty trixster, Maury Chontiner.



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Alameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. Do you have any proof? It looked like a set up to me too,
but I have not heard of any actual proof about it. Plausible deny-ability is the name of the game.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Here's a link to Rob Parry on the links between Lewinsky Tripp Goldberg Chotiner
Edited on Sat Sep-19-09 06:44 AM by leveymg
There's no doubt that Goldberg orchestrated the tape recording of Monica and Tripp's telephone calls and the "preservation of evidence." As to whether Lewinsky was sent up as willing bait, and who thought up the scheme, will probably remain a controversy. Personally, I don't think it much matters whether the operation emerged on the fly or was plotted out from the beginning. We do know from the Starr Report that Clinton had been warned that the calls were being recorded, and the President said to Monica that a "Washington Embassy" was listening in, so he advised her not to call him from her apartment.
http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/clinton6.html

there was a political "dirty tricks" component to the new disclosures, as well. The new scandal would not have occurred if not for the machinations of Clinton's political enemies, who have spared little effort to destroy the president over the five years. Special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who has been pursuing Clinton on a variety of issues for three and a half years, was picked for the job by a three-judge panel headed by U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle, a protege of ultra-conservative Sen. Jesse Helms.

Starr himself is a conservative political figure with powerful conflicts of interest. His future career rests on his success in bringing down Clinton and pleasing some of the Right's chief benefactors, such as Richard Mellon Scaife who subsidizes a legal program at Pepperdine University where Starr is expected to work after he completes his post as special prosecutor.

Though little noticed in the media frenzy over the Lewinsky tapes, the current scandal had other Clinton enemies in key places. Indeed, a New York literary agent, Lucianne Goldberg, instigated the tape recordings, in part, to advance her admitted agenda of destroying Clinton. Goldberg's checkered past included dirty tricks for Richard Nixon's notorious 1972 re-election campaign. She posed as a reporter on Sen. George McGovern's campaign plane and sold the political intelligence to Murray Chotiner, a close Nixon political adviser.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Goldberg made no secret about her hope that the tapes would "get" the president and make her a "hero." Goldberg even suggested that her contempt for Clinton and his team bordered on the violent. She told the Post that if Clinton's lawyer William Bennett had maligned her credibility the way he had Linda Tripp's, "I'd be on the lawn of the White House with a deer rifle."

According to accounts in The New York Times and the Post, it was Goldberg who persuaded her friend, Linda Tripp, to tape personal conversations with Lewinsky. In the midst of recording more than 20 hours of Lewinsky's anguished phone calls, Tripp handed two of the tapes to Goldberg.

The book agent then brought the information to the attention of Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, who had been an early journalistic supporter of the Paula Jones case. According to the Post account, Goldberg then accompanied Tripp to a meeting last fall with Isikoff in Washington and offered to let him listen to one of the tapes.


The Trap Closes
Word about Lewinsky's alleged affair with Clinton was leaked to lawyers for Paula Jones as well, although it's still not clear exactly how. The news was valuable to the Jones case which appeared to be floundering, after her previous team of lawyers quit in a dispute with their client last September. Jones was allying herself increasingly with ideological right-wingers determined to destroy Clinton's presidency.

Armed with the new information about Lewinsky, Jones's new legal team issued a subpoena for the young woman. That touched off her panicked call to Clinton for advice. The president reportedly told her to deny any affair and referred her to his longtime friend, attorney Vernon Jordan.

Jordan told the news media later that Lewinsky informed him that she had no sexual relationship with the president. Lewinsky formally issued that denial in an affidavit that she filed in the Jones case. But already, the scandal trap was closing. Tripp had approached Starr's investigators and gave them the secretly recorded phone tapes.

On Jan. 13 and 16, Tripp arranged additional conversations with Lewinsky at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, a section of Arlington near the Pentagon. At these meetings, however, Tripp wore a body-wire supplied by Starr's office. At the second meeting, FBI agents and federal prosecutors swooped in on Lewinsky. They took her upstairs to a hotel suite where they sought to enlist her in a sting operation, apparently against Clinton and Jordan. After discussions that lasted 10 hours, Lewinsky refused to cooperate.

The next day, Jan. 17, Clinton was deposed for six hours and reportedly denied an affair with Lewinsky. That evening, Jones and her lawyers were seen popping champagne corks and celebrating at the Old Ebbitt Grill restaurant near the White House.

Also that night, partly in deference to Starr's expanding investigation, Newsweek editors held Isikoff's story about the new developments implicating Clinton in a new sex scandal. The story broke with full force, however, on Tuesday morning, Jan. 20, with The Washington Post's banner lead. Within hours, the capital was swept by speculation about Clinton's possible resignation or impeachment.


Who is Monica Lewinsky?
The future course of the scandal likely will depend on the decisions of Monica Lewinsky, whether she sticks by her affidavit denying an affair or accepts a deal from Starr who wants her to implicate Clinton in an obstruction of justice. If she follows the second course, her credibility and potential corroborating evidence of an affair will take center stage.

In the first several days of the scandal, Lewinsky was an enigma, hiding out at her mother's Watergate apartment. Her sketchy biography showed that she grew up in wealthy Los Angeles neighborhoods, including Beverly Hills -- 90210. Her father was a wealthy doctor and her mother was a reporter fascinated by the private lives of the rich and famous. An admitted soap opera devotee, Lewinsky attended a junior college in Santa Monica before finishing her undergraduate studies at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon.

Lewinsky's road to a White House internship was paved by a family friend, a wealthy New York insurance executive, Walter Kaye, who is a major Democratic party donor. Kaye knew Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, who had moved to New York after divorcing Monica's father.

Lewis wrote the 1996 book, "The Private Lives of the Three Tenors: Behind the Scenes With Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras." The book contains juicy tidbits about the singers' personal lives and suggests that the author had an affair with Domingo, a rumor which Lewis coyly denies in publicity releases.

In interviews with Clinton loyalists about Lewinsky, I was told the young woman had a tendency to exaggerate and fantasize. But clearly she had maneuvered herself from an obscure intern's job to a congressional liaison position and into a friendship with the president. Alarmed at what some White House aides thought was an excessive interest in Clinton, senior presidential advisers transferred her to a public relations job at the Pentagon.

That is where she met Linda Tripp, who had been a holdover from the Bush White House and had played bits roles in several Clinton controversies. She had worked for White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum and Nussbaum's deputy, the late Vincent Foster. Tripp was the assistant who had brought Foster lunch on the July 20, 1993, the day Foster killed himself.

In e-mails that later surfaced, Tripp ridiculed Nussbaum and other White House lawyers as the "three Stooges" for their handling of Foster's documents after his death. She also claimed to have seen another woman leave an encounter with Clinton with her lip stick smudged, the claim that brought Bennett's criticism of her credibility.

Having lost the confidence of her superiors, Tripp transferred to the Pentagon where she met and befriended Lewinsky. Though twice Lewinsky's age (Tripp is 48 and Lewinsky 24), Tripp became a confidante for Lewinsky's rambling about her alleged affair with Clinton.

The snippets of the taped conversations which were released by Newsweek showed Lewinsky to be a salty-tongued young woman who spoke about Clinton in highly derogatory terms, such as "the creep" and "Schmucko." Her credibility has other problems. She reportedly states on one tape, "I have lied my entire life."


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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. That "preservation of evidence" always bothered me. I don't know a single woman
who would send a stained dress to her mother and tell her to be sure not to clean the dress. That is not the sort of keepsake that most people collect from relationships.
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Alameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Great information, thanks!
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. I knew a woman from MN. who looked just like her but blond. She went to work as
an intern and I had heard she had showed up with a suited older man at some point and was bagging someone once she got to Washington. Must be more common than I thought!
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
15. chambliss is a cheap used-car dealer with no morals whatsoever...he soils the senate
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Agony Donating Member (865 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
18. Must see: "Strong at the Broken Places" Max Cleland documentary/autobiography 2004
The film, named after Cleland's autobiography, "Strong at the Broken Places," combines the story of the triple-amputee Vietnam veteran and his moving interviews with grieving families and wounded survivors of the Iraq war.

http://new.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=165671

I can't find a link to the documentary right now but if you are interested and can't find it pm me, I will find it.

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