Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NY Times article on Bill Clinton: "It's Not About Bill" Oh but it is...

New York Times Magazine has a 8 page article on former President Bill Clinton out this week. The article was pretty interesting and entertaining including a lot of little tid bits that I hadn't heard Bill talk about before. Read the full NY Times article here.

There were many topics discussed in the article but here are a few of my favorites.

The entire interview starts with the line "Bill Clinton loves to shop." The writer, Peter Baker, describes Bill perusing through a craft market in Peru, searching for gifts for Hillary, Chelsea and female members of his staff.

Standing alone, he moved his eyes methodically across shelves of wooden carvings, jewelry and sculptures as he searched for something distinctive to bring his wife. “She used to look forward to me coming home from wherever I’ve been,” he mused with a laugh. “Now I’m afraid I’ll be second fiddle to whatever world leader she’s just met.”

He spotted a turquoise bracelet. “Hillary likes turquoise,” he noted as he fingered the piece. He decided to buy it. The article also touches on the new "role reversal" so to speak, between Bill and Hillary:

One day during the trip, he was standing on an airport tarmac in Colombia, struggling with the mobile telephone pressed to his ear. “The only bad thing about Hillary’s being secretary of state,” he groused good-naturedly, “is I can’t always get hold of her. They changed all her phone numbers, and her phone doesn’t work inside the State Department building.”
He goes on to talk about having access to the secretary and if they ever talk about work:
“If she asks, I tell her what I think,” Clinton said. “And if there’s something that’s going on that I feel that I have a particular knowledge of, I say that.” Does she ask? “Yeah, quite frequently she does,” he said. “She says: ‘Did you ever work with this guy? Do you know him?’”
They mentioned the most recent interaction between Obama and Bill, during their meeting in Harlem. NY Times reports:
Clinton was invited to join Obama for a ceremony enacting legislation to expand the AmeriCorps service program, one of the former president’s favorite legacies. By the time Clinton left office, more people had served in AmeriCorps than have served in the Peace Corps in its entire history. The ceremony was held at a school in a poorer, predominantly African-American section of Washington. Clinton was acknowledged in the remarks but was not invited onto the main stage or given a speaking role. Instead, Obama used the occasion to heap praise on Senator Edward Kennedy, a key patron during last year’s campaign.
The next interesting part of the article dives into when Hillary was announced as Secretary of State. He was in Hong Kong for a foundation event when he heard the news. He watched the announcement on a television in a restaurant, and he could not help voicing his own running commentary.
He shouldn’t have said that. He could have said this. She should smile now. Mack McLarty, who was with him, nudged him. “Mr. President,” he recalls saying, “there are other people here.”
Of course issues of the campaign came up in the article. I thought this segment was really interesting. Although nothing is actually quote the article states that twelve years after Bill's last campaign for office, he found it harder to control his resentments when he returned to the trail on his wife’s behalf. In his view, the news media and the political world held her to a different standard, while practically anointing Obama. And when he says her, he also means, in the back of his mind, himself. The article comes to a close talking a bit about both Hillary and Bill's lives these days:
The couple’s hyperbusy, often-separate lives intersect when schedules permit. “I try to go down there one night a week,” Clinton said. “She comes home Friday nights, stays Saturday night, goes back Sunday.” When she makes it to Chappaqua, they do little socializing. “Normally when she comes here,” he said, “she just wants to rest.” And while they talk regularly by telephone, they sometimes lose track of the other.
Read the full NY Times article here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this -- I wouldn't have seen it -- and reading about Bill is always the best, for me.

Anonymous said...

Oh, great find, and thanks so much for posting! Truly interesting article, and it gives such insight into their marriage and Bill's recent retirement into private life.
Oh, and God, does he look hot!

Stacy said...

I'm much more of a Hillary fan than a Bill fan (although I like him too), but I find their relationship fascinating- it's really difficult for me to even imagine what their life is like given they have spent most of their marriage either in the governor's mansion, the White House and now, they are an ex-President and SOS- definitely the first of it's kind with respect to "power couple."

They do seem to balance each other out, in a good way.

Paula said...

I enjoyed the article, too. I thought Peter Baker did a good job.

And, yes, Bill is hot, lol!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting information about the Clintons. I love to read about the positive things they're both doing. The world is a much better place because of the Clintons.

Sarah said...

thanks for the compliments! i enjoy spending my time tracking down the Clintons... it could be a full time job!

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