All too human : (a political education), Edition: 1st eBook by Clinton, Bill; Stephanopoulos, George; Clinton, Bill

By Clinton, Bill; Stephanopoulos, George; Clinton, Bill

A detailed examine what it used to be like being the president's correct hand guy in the course of a truly tricky time.

summary: a close examine what it was once like being the president's correct hand guy in the course of a really tricky time

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Few other members of Congress joined him, and the public loved the pictures of those rescued medical students kissing American soil. I had made a tactical error in allowing my personal views to cloud my political judgment. Even if I believed I was right on the merits, I was wrong about the politics. I should have known enough to warn my boss that the invasion would be popular even as I advised him to speak out against it. Would that have convinced him? Maybe not; maybe it was my passionate certainty that opposing the invasion was a political winner that made my case.

At nine, I appeared on my biggest stage yet. Archbishop Iakovos opened our church convention with a liturgy at Lincoln Center, and I was chosen to stand by his side and hold his staff. Monday's New York Daily News ran a picture of the bearded prelate in a tall gold crown next to a small boy with bangs and hands clasped in front of him. For a day, I was a star. But most of my work was backstage. Maybe one reason I've never been queasy about the grubby work of politics, the mechanics of running campaigns and making laws, is that I spent so many of my early days behind the altar screen, where mystery is rooted in the mundane, where faith and duty are one, where my father's prayers were my cues.

With Gephardt, I would be that guy. Although I had never met the man, I knew Gephardt was a good Democrat, and there was a bonus: In 1992, he was planning to run again for president. So much for getting out of politics. My new job was as exciting as I expected, even though I couldn't explain exactly what it was. Someone once compared it to being an air traffic controller at a busy airport on a foggy night; and as I stood near the Speaker's chair on late nights at the end of session and tried to explain to frustrated legislators why they had to stay for the last vote even though they had nonrefundable tickets for Florida with their families, I knew exactly what he meant.

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