Clinton: “I Am Bitter about It”

As a follow-up to yesterday’s much-discussed USA Today article—yes, the one that detailed, among other things, the tragicomic episode in which Boris Yeltsin, during a state visit to Washington, ended up on Pennsylvania Avenue late at night, drunk (and in his underwear, and apparently in search of pizza)—Mother Jones’s David Corn does some digging into the article’s source: a soon-to-be-released book based on a series of interviews that the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch conducted with Bill Clinton over the course of his presidency.

Corn, like USA Today’s Susan Page, got his hands on a copy of the book; and, reveals some additional details. Among the more interesting, from the journalism perspective: Clinton declared himself to be “bitter about” the antagonism between himself and The New York Times/The Washington Post in the wake of campaign-finance tensions in 1996; and Hillary Clinton accused Sally Quinn of spreading rumors about her at dinner parties (eg, “one juicy affair between Hillary and a female veterinarian attending Socks, the Clinton family cat”). And then there’s this:

In 1997, after New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote an acerbic column about Clinton and golfer Tiger Woods—maintaining that the the two green-eyed hucksters deserved each other—Clinton told Branch, “She must live in mortal fear that there’s somebody in the world living a healthy and productive life.”

More here.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.