Notable Quotables - 07/01/1996
Vote for Clinton: He's Not Venal, Just Incompetent
"Leon Panetta's explanation is
plausible to me only because back then, in 1993, there was mistake after
mistake like this. And the reasons usually were incompetence rather than
- NPR White House reporter Mara Liasson discussing Filegate on CNN's Late Edition, June 9.
"They are the White House and
there was a legitimate reason for them to try to get their files in order.
They made a mistake, or this guy who was a military attache whose job it was
to try to put this in order made a mistake. When it was found out that he made
a mistake, apologies were made."
- Washington Post reporter Juan Williams on CNN's Capital Gang, June 9.
"I'm willing to give them the
benefit of the doubt right now...I really believe this was a case of general
incompetence....Does this matter? I guess the real question is, beyond an
opportunity for the Republicans to have hearings and to sort of drag out a
Whitewater- type escapade once again, does this really matter?"
- Los Angeles Times Washington reporter Sam Fulwood, June 15 Inside Washington.
"I think this is one especially
that's going to backfire. There were not files turned over; there were summary
reports of background checks. These were not files of top Republican
operatives, the way the stories first suggested, but alphabetical lists of
people who had access to the White House. If they look at what actually
happened, they'll find out there's nothing there."
- New York Daily News columnist (and former Washington Bureau Chief) Lars-Erik Nelson in The Hill newspaper, June 19.
"Hate radio and innuendo is
going to put Mrs. Clinton at the center of this, and for a party like the
Republican Party that has this huge gender gap, targeting the First Lady on
every one of these issues is not going to be effective politics."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on the June 22 McLaughlin Group, reacting to the charge that Hillary Clinton protected Craig Livingstone.
"The administration has adopted
an it-was-an-innocent- blunder defense on Filegate, and it makes sense: This
White House inspires a presumption of incompetence."
- U.S. News & World Report Assistant Managing Editor Gloria Borger, July 1 issue.
Filegate? How Dare Republicans Mention It
"The politics of Campaign '96
are getting very ugly, very early. Today Bob Dole accused the White House of
using the FBI to wage war against its political enemies, and if that sounds
like another political scandal, that's the point."
- NBC anchor Brian Williams on the FBI files, June 8 Nightly News.
"For a year and a half, the
Republican-controlled Congress has been bent on holding one hearing after
another, investigating the Clinton White House. This provides them fodder for
- CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson on the FBI files, June 9 CBS Evening News.
Wiping Away the Whitewater Report
"These two dueling reports, the
Democrats are real hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. And the
Republicans come, I think, very close to McCarthyism. They raise the idea of
suspicious circumstances, to almost just an assumption of guilt."
- NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington, June 22.
Whitewater Hearing Cleared The
Clintons, Democrats Say
- New York Times, June 19
Hillary's Psychic Friends Network, Media Division
"Inevitably, Hillary's solarium
seances will be mockingly compared to Nancy Reagan's astrology...Still, the
joking is bound to exaggerate the depths of the First Lady's psychic
revelation. As [book author Bob] Woodward's account makes clear, Mrs. Clinton
was only imagining what it would be like to talk with Eleanor Roosevelt and
Gandhi, not literally trying to `channel' the spirits of the dead. A long-time
searcher for spiritual meaning, Mrs. Clinton had conjured conversations with
Eleanor Roosevelt before she met Dr. Houston. Mrs. Clinton is not even the
first First Lady to dabble with psychics or mediums: the wives of Presidents
Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, John Tyler, Woodrow Wilson and Warren G.
Harding all tried, in one way or another, to communicate beyond the grave.
Unlike Nancy Reagan, Hillary never tried to use psychic powers to influence
her husband.... "And to many women, Hillary Clinton is not a cold-eyed
conspirator but a martyr. Last week, 1,200 professional women clambered into a
$250,000 fundraiser for the Democratic Party in Boston to see Hillary speak.
Women teetered on high heels standing on precarious plastic folding chairs to
catch a glimpse of the First Lady as she worked the crowd. Is there anything
to Whitewater? `Noooo, she's just being bashed by the press,' said Joan
McGrath, a retired telephone worker. Why? `A lot of people don't like a strong
woman.' To voters like McGrath, Hillary looks just the way she does to her
philosopher friend, Dr. Houston - as a Joan of Arc figure, persecuted for her
- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, July 1 issue.
"Such role-playing conversations
are traditional counseling techniques, and Ms. Houston describes Mrs. Clinton
as beleaguered, in pain, and seeking help...The unwritten subtext here, of
course, is that even here at the end of the 20th century there is a political
price to be paid for those in public life who seek help for their private
- ABC reporter Jim Wooten, June 24 World News Tonight.
"Though somewhat of an
embarrassment, some believe this psychic cloud may have a silver lining. It
could soften Hillary Rodham Clinton's image as a behind-the-scenes power
player by revealing a vulnerability few ever see."
- CNN reporter Kathleen Koch concluding a June 23 The World Today story.
Two Roberts Family Tributes to Clinton
"That's what the Republicans did
when they had the White House. They misused the FBI. The same way the
Democrats to some extent misused the power on the Hill when they had it when
they investigated all of those Reagan appointees and it was the Republicans
who were screaming `No guilt by association! No guilt by association!' Now the
Republicans are misusing their power. That report this week, Whitewater
report, was so filled with `might have beens' and `could have beens' and
`should have beens.' They weren't able to connect the dots except with these
long loops. But that's what you do when you have the control of these
institutions. Both sides do it and both sides do it. Both sides do it!"
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Steven Roberts on the Fox Morning News, June 20.
"This has been a very clever
thing that the Clinton campaign has done on everything from '92, which is to
say A, it's old news, and B, it's politically motivated. And to be very
aggressive - and you've got to give them credit - to be very aggressive in
going after the people who are reporting it or the people who are leaking it,
so there's a backing off."
- ABC's Cokie Roberts on Whitewater, June 18 Charlie Rose on PBS.
Scorching Talk Radio
"Why are there so many church
burnings in South Carolina? Some people say it's racism. Some that it's evil,
or the violence from talk radio, or the insecurity over jobs. But many people
say it's the flag."
- ABC reporter Deborah Amos on Nightline, June 12.
Living in Hillary's Parallel Universe
"Most reporters who covered Bill
Clinton were of his generation, identified with him, had a lot of the same
experiences, were about his age, and they were harder on him. It's the coach's
son. You're just so worried that you're going to give him favorable treatment
that it goes the other way."
- Chicago Tribune Washington reporter Elaine Povich to the Radio- Television News Directors Association, on C-SPAN June 14.
- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham, Editors - Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts - Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager; Jessica Anderson, Diane Lewis, Jonathan Stuart, Andrea Wilson, Interns