March 15

Hillary, Bill and MD

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dick-morris5.jpgI just got a copy of Dick Morris’s latest report concerning the differences between Bill’s remembrance of Hillary’s role in his presidency and Hillary’s remembrance of same. Turns out that Hillary remembers it a whole lot different than Bill does.
I always enjoy reading Morris’s reports on the Clinton years because he was right there in the thick of it, and so he knows whereof he speaks. It’s not speculation–it’s on-the-scene reporting. He was clintons99.jpgBill’s eminence grise and was truly in the inner sanctum. Just as W turns to Rove, Bill turned to Dick Morris.
Morris regards Bill as a political genius who knew when to follow his own instincts (which were quite good) and when to listen to advice. And when he took the advice, he followed it to the letter. Morris regards Hillary as being a smart but personalityless harridan who caused no end of trouble.
Here’s Dick’s take on the he-remembers/she-remembers situation.

Hillary’s Experience — Ask Bill (He Doesn’t Remember It)
By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN Published on FoxNews.com on March 9, 2007.
Is Hillary Clinton the Walter Mitty of presidential candidates when she takes credit for the successes of her husband’s presidency?
Lately, she’s been repeatedly linking herself to Bill’s job creation, budget balancing, economic programs and domestic policies initiatives. There’s a lot of “Bill and I” and “we” in her speeches. It’s all part of the “bring back the Clinton years” theme that she rolls out to Democratic Party audiences.
But there’s more to it.
At the core of her highly disciplined campaign message is her claim that her “experience” in the White House and the Senate makes her uniquely qualified to move right into the Oval Office. According to Hillary, her two term co-presidency with Bill specially prepared her for the next Clinton administration and gives her exceptional credentials that no other candidate can match.
And her message is working — the most recent Gallup Poll shows that 45 percent of American voters cite Hillary’s “experience” as the highest positive rating about her.
Out on the campaign trail, she often refers to her “eight years in the White House,” when asked why she should be elected.
So, what exactly was it that Hillary did in the Clinton White House that gave her all of that experience?
Well, obviously there was the health care fiasco, Hillary’s secretive, expensive and utterly failed attempt to socialize the health care industry. Surely, she can’t be referring to that.
So what is it that Hillary is referring to?
One would think that the $20 million combined memoirs of the former first couple could provide some clarification. But a careful reading of their respective stories leads to even more confusion. One wonders whether they ever read each other’s work.
It seems that in her book “Living History,” published in 2003, the former first lady doesn’t really claim to have been an influential co-president working and learning at her husband’s side after all.
No, that’s all new.
And most of what she does take credit for involves traditional first lady issues, such as childcare and cancer research. She barely mentions any role for herself in the signature issues that confronted the Clinton presidency.
If you contrast her current claims of helping to run the country against her own writing about her White House days, there’s a big difference. Now she speaks of the Clinton administration accomplishments, as if she were part of implementing them. But only four years ago, she told another story.
Bill doesn’t seem to recall her help and involvement on too many issues. Even on those relatively few things that she actually does take credit for in her book, the former president doesn’t have the same recollections that she does about her important role in the White House.
In her book, Hillary discusses her advocacy in the White House on social security, welfare reform, the bankruptcy reform bill, violence in the media, budget cuts and improvement in the Family and Medical Leave Act.
But, in his memoirs, Bill rarely mentions Hillary’s role in any of his administration’s policies, except for health care. One would have expected that he would have described some of the details of her unparalleled ‘experience.’
In fact, of 102 mentions of Hillary in Bill Clinton’s “My Life”, the content is as follows:
• 34 entries describe trips taken by the first couple
• 26 entries are about Whitewater or other scandal investigations
• 17 entries are about their personal relationship
• 11 entries are about Hillary’s integrity, character, her writing a book, supporting American crafts, etc.
• Nine entries describe her role in health care
• Only five entries concern a substantive role, including: participating in a White House staff gathering at Camp David; speaking out for women’s rights in China; campaigning for child protection legislation; and campaigning for Democratic candidates, and the Millennium Project
Here’s some examples of how Hillary catalogued some of her work and how Bill described the same issue:
“I supported welfare reform and worked hard to round up the votes.”
• Bill makes no mention of her role concerning that important issue.
Media Violence and Children :“Bill and I … convened a White House strategy session on how to curb media violence directed at children.”
• Bill remembers it somewhat differently, crediting Al and Tipper Gore with a drive to get V chips in televisions. No mention of Hillary.
Budget Cuts :“I also spent two years helping … Stave off cuts in legal services, the arts, education, Medicare and Medicaid.”
• Bill makes no mention of Hillary in discussing the budget cuts.
Adoption Reform :“I worked hard … to spearhead adoption reform.”
• Bill writes about how proud he was about his “sweeping reforms of our adoption laws.” No mention of Hillary.
Child Support :“Bill and I wanted tougher child support collection efforts.”
• Bill describes signing another of his priorities into law. No mention of Hillary.
And so on.
So, is Hillary a Walter Mitty character who imagined herself as the effective and hard-working co-president of the United States, while she was actually marginalized and uninvolved in any important policy making?
Or was she really a strong co-president who wasn’t given the proper credit by her husband in his book, and was too modest to write about it in her own book?
We’ll leave the answer up to you.

Where does MD come in to play in all this?
Well, according to Morris, whom I’m certain went through the book with a fine-toothed comb, there were only 102 mentions of Hillary in the whole 1000+ pages. Of these 102 mentions, Morris lays them out above as follows:

• 34 entries describe trips taken by the first couple
• 26 entries are about Whitewater or other scandal investigations
• 17 entries are about their personal relationship
• 11 entries are about Hillary’s integrity, character, her writing a book, supporting American crafts, etc.
• Nine entries describe her role in health care
• Only five entries concern a substantive role, including: participating in a White House staff gathering at Camp David; speaking out for women’s rights in China; campaigning for child protection legislation; and campaigning for Democratic candidates, and the Millennium Project

According to this list, there are only 17 entries about Bill and Hillary’s personal relationship.
If you click here you will be taken to the Look Inside section of the Amazon.com listing for Bill’s book My Life. Once there, click on the Index, then go to page xxxviii, look at the top listing, and you will see two listings for Crane, Mary Dan (who is now Eades, Mary Dan).
(A side note: In Arkansas it is a real status symbol to have made the index of this book.)
These are both listings of a personal relationship nature. So, one could say that MD is 2/17ths or about 12% as important to Bill as Hillary is. Maybe MD should run for something.
The photo below was taken by MD’s brother on his birthday with his new birthday camera. The little girl in the left front without shoes is MD. The overweight kid in the back is Bill.
md-and-clinton-blog-size.jpg


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  1. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooh!
    two Hillary posts in one day! And, you’ve hit the second major reason why I’m working to make sure she doesn’t become the Dem nominee.
    SHE’S STUCK IN THE NINTIES!
    I don’t care about he said/she said, I don’t care about prostitute toe-sucker Morris’ opinion. I care about the fact that instead of bringing up current concerns, she brings up v chips and welfare reform.
    A few weeks ago at TheNewsBlog, a commenter described Hillary as a little mouse who scurries quickly out of her little mousehole, grabs a little piece of truth, and scurries right back with it to hoard it.
    I have no doubt that she is a very intelligent woman. I don’t care what kind of personality she has. I care that she seems so out of touch with what is happening right now around her.
    Hey, just because the guy sucked a few prostitutes’ toes (or a few toes of one prostitute–I can never remember which) and wore a dog collar doesn’t make him an unreliable reporter of what went on when he was in the thick of it.  God only knows what his partner in crime was doing while Hillary was looking the other way and Dick was playing footsie with the prossies.
    I think the description of Hillary as the little mouse is apropos.  I wish I had come up with it.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  2. That’s pretty interesting and I’ll have to give that a more thorough reading tomorrow. I will say this. I’ve noticed for years now when reading autobiographies that men rarely mention their wives and children except in a most passing way. It’s not true all of the time but it is something that I’ve noticed time and again.
    I recognized Bill right away in the picture. He hasn’t changed a bit.
    Hmmm.  Since Bill mentioned his own wife only 17 times and mine twice, maybe I should start to worry. 

  3. Not for nothing, but Dick Morris, as I recall, used to run policy speeches by a hooker who was apparently his closest relation. While I’m sure hookers are people too, let’s suggest that they might not be the deepest policy analysts or even speech writers. They might not even be a good stand in for your average American.
    I’m not a Hillary backer, but I’m willing to buy that she and Bill talked work when Dick Morris wasn’t around, the way I talk work with my wife when my peers at work aren’t present. It’s so common that I do this that I might not mention it when I write my memoirs. I might only mention it once.
    Something lacking in Mr. Morris’s deep reading of the index of their books (I suspect he went to Amazon, and used the search inside feature to catalog references), is a measure of quality of reference. The 2/17ths as important to Bill doesn’t factor the weight of importance in each reference. It’s the very same shoddy research you so frequently complain about on dietary issues, brought to politics. Shame.
    Uh, Max–
    The 2/17ths was a joke.  I don’t think anyone – except perhaps you – took it to mean that I meant that my wife was 2/17ths as important to Bill as his own wife.  The whole idea is ludicrous, but jokes usually are.  That’s why they’re jokes. 
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  4. what does any of this have to do w/protein power, heathy diet, etc. I came to this site for good information, and I got none whatsoever.
    anybody want to buy my copies of the Eades’ books?
    Uh, maybe you should try looking at more than just this one post.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

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