Tags: Hillary: | 'Besotted | Good | Word'

Hillary: 'Besotted Is a Good Word'

Sunday, 08 June 2003 12:00 AM

And the rest is history – much of it told between the covers of Clinton’s new book, to be in general release tomorrow. But regardless of what details emerge from the book, Clinton came up with few surprises in her exclusive "20/20" interview, which was taped in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge where Hillary grew up, at the Capitol where she does business as the junior Democrat U.S. senator from New York, and finally from inside her and the former president’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

Her advice for those who are said to be pushing her to run for president in 2004: “Take a deep breath, take two aspirins and get a good night’s sleep.” When asked for a definitive answer by Walters, it was, “No.”

On Travelgate, Whitewater, etc., Hillary blamed an “out-of-control zealous prosecutor” for a “relentless series of investigations.” In a candid moment on the issue: “I should have done a better job of explaining myself.”

On Vincent Foster: “Good friend, someone we cherished,” wishing that she, the president or anybody had managed “some word, some action to prevent tragedy.”

Gennifer Flowers’ allegation of 12-year affair with the former president garnered only: “We’ve spent some time in marriage counseling,” and in the end, “the American public got it right" as reflected at the election results.

On Paula Jones’ charge of sexual harassment in the Arkansas governor’s office: Hillary “did not believe” it, pointing to the judge in the civil case who found, in her paraphrase, that the case was “without factual or legal merit.” “It was not easy,” she added.

Hillary did not backtrack on her infamous charge of a vast right-wing conspiracy. She commented that conspiracy was probably the wrong word: “ A right-wing network was after his presidency from the very beginning, including perverting the Constitution.”

On Bill Clinton’s musings on the shortcomings of the 22nd Amendment: “I’m a supporter of two terms.”

As to the crucible of the Monica Lewinsky saga, Hillary insists that she “believed Bill” during his initial denials. “There were so many untrue accusations against me,” she explained.

Did she consider separation or divorce after the president’s admission of the truth of the sexual affair? “They certainly crossed my mind.” She described her feelings at the time as “furious, dumbfounded, beside myself with anger, disappointment.”

Ascribing her faith as her guiding light during all the White House episodes of crisis, she said she learned to characterize her husband’s transgressions as “sins of weakness rather than sins of malice.”

As to putting the Monica episode behind her, Hillary says that she has finally learned to “forgive and let go of anger,” adding, “I had to get down on my knees and pray." She now trusts her husband because, “We’ve been tried and tested.”

What if he does it again? “That’s between us,” Hillary explained, describing her future with William Clinton as “hopeful, committed.”

On a more prosaic subject, she lamented that the administration’s failure to get national health care legislation through in the first term resulted in “disappointment that kept some Democrats home” in later elections. Hillary had been named head of the administration's health care task force.

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And the rest is history - much of it told between the covers of Clinton's new book, to be in general release tomorrow. But regardless of what details emerge from the book, Clinton came up with few surprises in her exclusive "20/20" interview, which was taped in the Chicago...
Hillary:,'Besotted,Good,Word'
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2003-00-08
Sunday, 08 June 2003 12:00 AM
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