M: ......Well Bradford, where I come from, the people were Scotch Irish but
I'd say more the Scottish influence. Very straight laced types, morals, people
very religious, not fanatic, just very religious and looking down on all the
vices such as drinking, gambling etc. For example, when I was only a few years
old, our town voted itself dry and you could no longer buy beer or whisky. so
it's absolute polar opposites with Hot Springs.
Q: So a small town, dry county, mostly Southern Baptist?
M: Yes, in my class in high school there were two denominations, Southern
Baptist and Church of Christ. And of course we spent all of our time arguing
religion and very little studying, but....
Q: You became intensely political from a very young age, politically
M: Right, it was an outside influence, that was a negative influence. The
town Republican , you might remember you know that this is a town of 600,
650--in towns of that size you would have a town drunk, the village idiot and
the town Republican. And the town Republican owned the hamburger stand, his
name was Mudd Goad, wonderful fellow, looked a lot like George Kennedy the
actor. And for some reason he would kid me about being a Democrat and I don't
know why because my family wasn't that active but he kept goading me and in the
`52 election or the national convention period in the summer he and I were both
intensely interested and so we would leave the radio on in the store and he and
I would listen to the Republican and then the Democratic convention and go over
to eat lunch at the hamburger place. And we'd listen to the convention and
argue and talk and that sort of thing so actually, I think it was just that he
aroused this fighting spirit in me somehow and I think it was just some dormant
Q: There is of course a great story, you were a very precocious child you were
the only child were you not,
Q: Born relatively late in your parents marriage...
M: Right my father was about 33, mother around 28
Q: Bright young man who has this political interest and there is the tale that
in fact you, as a lad, were able to quote from FDR's speeches -- is that so?
-- His fireside chats.
Q: You rmember any of that....
M: I thought one of my favorites was when he said, "To some generations much
is given, to other generations much is expected, this generation of Americans
has a rendezvous with destiny...."
Q: How did you see yourself in your mind's eye, your ambitions politically, did
you have any?
M: I don't think so. I have known fellows like Jim Guy Tucker or Bill Clinton
who I think when they were 16 they were planning to be president. I never had
any such ideas, it just, I guess they were strategists and I was more
tactician. I just did whatever came along.
Q: So you knew politics, enjoyed politics , and had a talent for politics, but
didn't necessarily see yourself as the guy up front?
Q: Okay. Very early on in your late teen years you got a chance to sort of
demonstrate your talent at a very young age you were swimming with the big
fish. Met McClellan, you worked for Fullbright, helped to run JFK's campaign.
Help me to understand what that is like for a young man at that age to be
around those kind of folks, powerful people, and actually then to have a, some
say with them?
M: Well you know they say no man's a hero to his valet. And I think that's
how I felt about many of the powerful people that I saw. Now John McClellan
who I worked for also on the Senate Rackets Committee, right after Bobby
Kennedy left in the early 60's, was certainly an imposing figure. We used to
laugh and say the country needed a theocracy with John McClellan heading it up.
And he was what he appeared to be. Many people who appear to be such Olympian
figures are really just very interesting and down to earth once you get to know
them, like Senator Fullbright.
Q: And so does that, the effect of that on a young man at that age is what?
M: Oh, I don't think so. I was just grateful that they treated me very well
and they had given me an opportunity and that they seemed to take seriously
what I had to say. But I just saw it as another job. I didn't see it as
Q: They had to see something remarkable in this young man. Fullbright had a
great quote about you, "He could write a great speech and buy 3 watermelons at
a good price." How would you characterize the attribute you brought to the
enterprise? To be a young man and to be Fullbright's fellow back home, for
example, is a hugely important position...
M: Well, I think in those days they looked for simple old-fashioned things.
That if you were very polite and you seemed to meet people well--and remember,
I had been meeting people in the store since I was 4 years old and I had been
trained that if a person came in and spent a nickel we acted as if that was the
most wonderful thing that every happened in our life. I understood gratitude
and making my manners as we say down south. And I was very careful about how I
dressed. My family had always been careful about that. Not when we were at
home because we were often doing manual labor in the store. But anytime we
went anywhere my parents were extremely careful about how we dressed. We didn't
want to appear to be country or to be hicks.
And I think that that holds true today. If you watch your appearance and say
"yes sir, no sir" and are eager and willing you can go a long way just on that.
I can't think of what I had to offer except that I had some tendency to
remember parliamentary things and some historical things better than most
Q: Yes sir, I'd say that's so judging by our FDR example of a moment ago.
This might not be the moment to ask you this but I'm struck by a story that
I've heard that in this time you're going full bore, throwing yourself into
politics, you're meeting people, involved in Senator Fullbright's campaign,
running the campaign eventually in Arkansas -- and you were drinking. That was
when you were fully, also, under the drinking life, the recovery of which I
gather is one of your prouder achievements...
M: Well actually I had joined AA and obtained sobriety before I went to work
for Senator Fullbright. I went to AA in `67 in October, so come this October,
I will have been, if I make it till then, continuously, everyday sober, for 30
years and I had not been so I would have never gone to work for Senator
Fullbright. Lee Williams, who got me the job, his chief aide, he knew me
drunk and he didn't want a drunk Jim McDougal working for him I can assure you.
But I will be forever grateful that they gave me an opportunity when I had a
reputation as an alcoholic to go to work in such a public, to go to work in a
position that was dangerous and risky for them to let me do it. And I mean,
I'm grateful to the Lord that it was successful.
Q: Had there been, at the period that you went into recovery, before you dried
up, where you dried out--had you reached a trough, was it...
M: Oh yes. I had tried everything. And those days there weren't any public
service ads about getting sober. Nothing was known. I had never met anybody
in AA. That told me they were in AA. The first thing I mean I tried
everything, but one day when I was in Bradford in business and this minister
came in, this preacher he said something and I said I hope you'll pray for me
because I'm an alcoholic. And he said, "Well I am too." And what he was doing
was he was preaching and taking care of 10 or 12 orphan kids and just doing
those things and staying sober. I tried those things but it wasn't successful.
So the time I came to AA I had tried religion, I had tried everything medical
science had to offer and it had all failed and I really was as low as you could
possibly get. Been hospitalized five times I would say this about AA--if it
works for me for the last 30 years, it will work for anybody.
Q: Yes sir! So you knew it , you knew the depth of your...
M: Oh, yeah, no doubt.
Q: There was a story that there was a Christmas, a low Christmas where you
were still drunk where Jim Guy Tucker took you and led you away and let you
spend Christmas day with him.
M: Well they're probably confusing that some. That was the Christmas
immediately after I sobered up in AA. But again I had no job, I had no money,
I was living in an old house that AA owned. I had been in the program, I had
just completed it so I had just had absolutely nothing. Nothing whatsoever and
no prospects. And I knew Jim Guy and his mother and I went over there and then
we went with some girls to a very nice party at the country club and everything
and that cheered me up considerably, you know, they weren't embarrassed to do
Q: I want to move in time to 1968 I believe you were working for Fullbright,
Lee Williams in Washington on Fullbright's staff sends you a young man - a
young Bill Clinton - your way says he's going to be working for the Senator in
Arkansas. Tell me if you will your memory of the first, bring me back to that
moment when you first saw Bill Clinton..
M: First of all, let me say first of all I think there's a slight error in
one of the books. Lee was the campaign, he was the boss. I wasn't running the
campaign. He brought Bill Clinton in, he just said, "Jim this is Bill Clinton
he'll be working with us." And here was this big, amiable fellow, smiling
broadly, just seemed likable to me so I was glad to have him there.
Q: Seemed amiable like a fella that might have been sent over by the party
boss in the next county or seemed amiable like smart, ambitious...
M: No, kinda guy that if you'd have know in him high school, if he'd been in
high school in Bradford I would have like for him to been a buddy.
Q: Yes. Did he yet have that quality of someone who had experienced the world
outside of Arkansas?
M: I didn't notice it.
Q: What did you, when you took measure of young Bill Clinton what did you
M: I just saw a nice guy.
Q: Wasn't the sort of lightening bolt sort of a deal, this guy's going to be
president some day and ....
M: No. No. I wasn't electrified by his charisma. He was just a nice fella.
Q: We have spent some time, as you know, with Mrs. Riley and I want to talk
for a minute or two about Bob Riley and the Rileys. He was something of a
political guru, down in Ouchitawa. He would send you all the young people and
so on. Give me a little portrait of Bob Riley as you came to know him.
M: Well Bob Riley was a, certainly an outstanding, a very unique man, a very
brave man. He had gone off to the Second World War, I think when he was about
17, the day after Pearl Harbor. Was blown to pieces, blinded, made it back
home, stayed in the hospital a year. Was elected to the legislature when his
face was still covered with powder burns, pits and he did not have a high
school education. Finished his high school education while blind and on
through his doctorate. And of course that's why we all admire Claudia Riley so
much his wife, because she was seeing him through this, reading him every word.
Q: So it was real charisma?
M: Tremendous, yes. Tremendous feeling of warmth, goodness.
Q: And yet, there was a brief little transition period of ten or eleven days
where he got to be governor and you helped him to run the state. How was
M: Way it all came about was Fullbright quit early, this allowed Bumpers to go
claim his seniority early by being sworn in. This permitted Bob Riley, who was
Bumper's Lt. Governor to become Governor and as I was out of a job, I went out
for the two weeks that Bob was governor and was his only aide and we set there
I suppose meting out unequal laws to--
Q: (LAUGHTER) That must have been pretty cool though during that period...
M: (Laughing) It was, it was....
Q: And so you all, Bob goes back to Arkadelphia back to Ouchita and he
suggests that you come along and you do sort of go back there and lick your
wounds and prepared for the future and he does. And you become literally
Professor McDougal. And there is, what I gather was the sort of center of that
universe was the Riley place.
M: Yes that's right.
Q: Something almost like a political salon. Tell me about that. What was the
atmosphere, what was the conversation.
M: Well I was living, actually, on the grounds of their property in the little,
I call it a house trailer , that offends Claudia, the little guest house your
people have photographed. So I was right there, I had a key to the house, I
came and went as I wished. And of course everybody would come by. First of
all many of Bob's students had become prosecutors or judges or held office, and
certainly anytime a Senator or anybody noteworthy came to town, they came to
see Bob. So it was that. And we played word games to see if we could memorize
all the words in the dictionary. If we didn't have anything else to do we'd
memorize 50 words.
Q: And it was, and it was what you would remember has being happy time.
M: Oh yes, students just simply come and go as they wish. They had simply
built the house where they could accommodate 30-40 students easily in the
living area and so in the warm times the swimming pool looked like a commercial
enterprise. Very happy warm, wonderful place.
Q: A rare and magical man he must have been. It's interesting to me that a
professor down at Ouchita Baptist University, College as it was then would
hold such a prominent place in the intellectual commerce of the state.
M: Bob of course, there's a joke that everybody in Arkansas had been to the
University with Bob, because it's pretty slow going when you're blind, so he
was there a long time by the time he got his doctorate. So he was widely
acquainted and like I said he's the type of fellow....if you were having a
hard, bad day he made you feel good, he didn't have to say anything, you look
at him with those thousands of pieces of shrapnel in his body, hundreds of
pieces of shrapnel in his eyes, and that he was able to laugh and to be
congenial and to smile was a tremendous inspiration.
Q: And it was a good time for you personally. You are no longer drunk, you
are in recovery, you have this new life as a professor, you're there, in this
life for a year and you meet young Susan, Susan Henley.
M: Right. Right.
Q: Physically, very attractive gal. What was it, what did you see there?
M: Well, I thought she was smart and I thought she was very pretty and an
interesting person and it's always so difficult what draws you to someone if
you're trying to qualify and quantify. But I just like her and she was a hard
worker, working at two jobs, and I was raised to respect people who do that
Q: The Henleys, how do you remember them?
M: Well, there's a lot of them and I can't think of anything particularly
noteworthy about them. Mr. Henley, the father, was always very, very kind to
...I felt welcomed. I had no trouble with Mr. Henley, he was exactly the type,
black Irish fellow that I had grown up with at home. He'd a fitted in right at
Bradford. You know, a big snuff dipper, big congenial fella, good hearted,
been through real hard times and I liked him, sure I felt comfortable.
Q: Hard working, honorable fellow. Had you been married before?
M: Yes, I had been married for about five years, 1969-1974, there's no need to
drag her into this notoriety. We were simply divorced on very good terms and
she moved away and I have never seen her again.
Q: Okay, it was just out of curiosity. Pardon me for that. I was talking
about Susan taking up the life of a professor's wife, meanwhile your friend
young Bill Clinton had his run for Congress in `74 and has brought into his
life this young woman from the North who he had met at law school. Made it
plain that this is the one that he is settling down with. Couple of things
about that : they marry and he wins. 1980 he loses. She played a role,
plainly in the picture that young Bill Clinton presented as governor. Not
necessarily a positive one. Help me to understand that. What was the
perception? What was the, what was the, give me both the asset and the
liability that both Hillary Rodham presented to young Bill Clinton
M: I first saw Hillary Rodham in 1974 at the state Democratic convention.
And she looked about like any girl of the period coming out of eastern schools,
university would look. She was from an entirely totally different background
to we Arkansans. She had that unpleasant resonance in her voice with which
Yankees from Chicago are afflicted. There was just a lot to overcome. You
know Margaret Mead anthropologist said, "We are frightened of a stranger." And
I think that's true. I don't think we particularly hate people when they are
different . I mean I had, I got along with her very well from the first time,
she was very courteous and kind to me but it's hard to warm up to people if
their voices are different, if their demeanor's different, if their dress is
different and she might as well have been from another planet.
Q: Yes there was a discomfort.
M: Yeah right. And I think not just for the Arkansans. There was something
that put people off. I know Mrs. Fullbright said--sniffed-- Mrs. Fullbright
was a Philadelphia mainline, high society--she said, "hum, I've never seen
anybody spell it that way," talking about Hillary.
Q: (LAUGHTER) I'd not heard that story. She was smart. That impress you,
M: There was no occasion for her to make any demonstration of her intellectual
capacity. I mean we were just sitting in a bar at the Democratic convention,
everyone coming and going. So, I never really had any opportunity to observe
the dazzling display of brilliance on the part of Mrs. Clinton.
Q: I was going to ask for a Hillary-Susan comparison. I will. Susan, Susan
McDougal was much more of what we would come to expect the profile of what a
political wife in Arkansas at that time to have been.
M: Well I would say comparing the two women and I could probably make a fairly
objective comparison since Susan is not saying anything nice about me these
days, but I'd say that Susan was pretty, Hillary was plain. I would say Susan
had a lot more native intelligence, with probably a lot more street smarts.
And far more people-oriented than Hillary. But again, I want to remind you
that we weren't trying to make our way in politics. Even at the very outset
Susan and I were in business together, that's what we were doing.
Q: You knew you were going to be a businessman.
M: Right. My family had from time out of mind been business people, they had
been in business in Arkansas since the territorial days and before that one the
east coast since the 1700's in business. So I had first of all-- offices then
paid nothing. When I grew up the governor paid $10,000 and it was almost like
being a member of the House of Commons was in England, you simply had to have
something else to make a living. Politics was seen as an avocation, something
you did to pass the time.
Q: And that's how you saw it?
M: Yeah, that's how I saw it as something, for example I've never understood
grown men going out and chasing a ball all day in golf. But I could understand
going out and trying to carry the county for a candidate. You see it just
depends on what sort of entertainment you like. I'm sure an avid golfer would
never understand why I spend thousands of dollars just to see if I could get a
Q: A golfer wouldn't necessarily see that golf was important would you say
that politics is important, did you see...
M: Oh, I think so, I had a, and still do I think almost a religious faith in
what I believe as to its importance.
JIM MCDOUGAL'S BUSINESS DEALS
Q: You begin to have business success, you begin to invest in real estate with
Senator Fullbright and others and you find some success, ultimately bringing in
young Bill Clinton ultimately in a deal, he did , a land deal that was
profitable. Why do that? Why do business with a Fullbright, why do business
with a young Bill Clinton?
M: Well those are two very different answers. Uh, with Fullbirhgt, in any
business venture you have to have capital. And I had no inherited capital. I
had bought a piece or two of land and had done very well on them myself and
Senator Fullbright knew that but I wanted to do bigger things and I asked him
to join me because he had a tremendous net worth. He should have had, he
hoarded every penny he ever made. And all we had to do to get money was for me
to go to the bank and pick up the note. And so it made the capital available
plus I had an enormous feeling of gratitude toward him, it made me feel good to
make things work. As to Bill, how would you say it, well, he was attorney
general when he bought the piece of land from us, we made a profit on it. You
got to remember that, Fullbright and I - we never gave anybody anything.
Because he was from an even stronger capitalistic background than I was. And
much more successful and richer than my folks were and so on, but you do that
like you say, again to use the golf analogy, "hey come on play a round of golf
with me," you say to Bill, "you want to make some money, we got a deal that
will make some money, come on!" But you got to remember we made something out
of it up front then it just happened that what we were doing was successful,
very successful and the momentum carried along and he probably invested $500
and made $2500 or whatever.
Q: Whitewater, same thing?
M: Same thing exactly I think that was spur of the moment. I think Susan and
I ran into the Clinton's as we were in the process of buying it and said, "hey
you wanna do this deal with us." And they said, "What do we gotta do," well by
then my credit was so good that all they had to do was sign the note with us.
I had always been interested in banking, I had always thought that we were poor
because of the way the financial institutions were operated in Arkansas, when I
went to work for Clinton one of my responsibilities was the Bank Commission.
So it all flows together and this tiny little bank came up for sale, it just
appealed to me that here's a chance to do what I've always said I wanted to
My politics was dictating my business practice then and causing me, really,
through my idealism to do some really dumb things because I was wandering into
a field I did not understand.
Q: Such as, help me to understand that?
M: Banking, well I didn't really understand the intricacies of banking. And
I was doing very well at what I had already mastered so it was a Quixotic thing
to be doing the banking.
Q: But motivated again, not because of it would so obviously enhance or help
this other side of your business undertakings but because partly you had,
partly for emotional reasons.
M: I was going into the banking business with Steve Smith who had been my
superior in Clinton's office. Again, one of the most brilliant, biggest
hearted men I have ever known and a true populist. And we really thought we
were going to have this laboratory where we would take the poorest, second
poorest county in the state, Madison county, where the bank was, Steve's home
county which had sent him to the legislature, been there for generations, We
thought that we could demonstrate that if we took the worse county, if we took
a county where there were only two banks, the other bank the national bank had
the lowest loan to deposit ratio in the state, we thought if we took this and
experimented we could prove that proper banking practices would lead to the
prosperity of the people.
.....Well the, not to belabor it but again, Mr. Steve Smith's a scholar, great
admirer of the James Madison and author of the Constitution. And really that's
why we called it Madison and we had a logo, our logo was the outline of
Madison's bust or his head, and it was really funny because the fella who
actually ran the bank and whose family had started the bank was a local fella
named Gary Bunch and he was bald headed and so when we put this logo of Madison
on everything people were saying, "That's really nice of you all to put old
Gary on those checks and everything you know." (Laughter)
Q: Susan in your business. She was a smart gal, and was fully participant, or
would just show up and pick up a paycheck? What was the nature as you're
building the bank...
M: No, from the very outset Susan was active on the ground I mean if we're
going to buy a piece of property we were out in the woods walking over the
property. She was not a stay at home or society wife. She had no friends
except my friends which was something that worried me really, but she fully
participated and worked very very hard at everything we did. The bank,
actually at the savings and loan she went down and ran it for the first several
months we owned it.
Q: Is that so? So it wasn't uh, huh,
M: I always said Susan was smarter than me. Now, I have no reason to withdraw
THE CASTLE GRANDE DEAL...
M: What we were doing at Castle Grande was that we had taken a defunct piece
of industrial property, about a thousand acres, but it did have a water and
sewer system and it was close to the city of Little Rock and we were simply
giving low to moderate income people a half acre, with government financing,
FHA, at that time, on the half acre and a double wide modular home which we set
upon to government specifications. They could get in for as little as 3
percent down or they could do a certain amount of work themselves, which
counted as sweat equity, like landscaping or fencing etcetera and get in with
nothing down. So this had a tremendous appeal to me because it , and we had
always been able to put people on land for nothing down, almost, because we
were carrying the paper, but this was a way to get people expressly into
M: I was, I thought it was impossible to be acquitted because that was the
time, if you recall that they were hanging Savings and Loan owners from the
yardarm in public, and actually 144 owners were tried and I was the only one
acquitted out of the 144. So I think that places and you can check the New
York Times, I'm using their figures, I mean the Wall Street Journal, I'm using
their figures and not mine, s so that definitely moved into the miracle
category. The fact is I had no confidence, I was so depressed, physically and
mentally , so ashamed to be accused of a crime, so worried about the effect it
was having on my aged mother that I was absolutely unable to render any
assistance whatsoever to my attorney Sam Huer.
Sam thought he would have to PLEAD diminished capacity because I couldn't help
him, but some miracle, and I have to believe in miracles because there have
been too many in my life. Some miracle occurred when I got on the stand, the
prosecution had written out 280 questions to ask me but I was able to send them
into a complete rout after about 20 minutes and was allowed to step down and
I'm still absolutely astonished when they read the verdict "not guilty" I was
the most surprised man in the state of Arkansas....
BILL CLINTON CALLS JIM MCDOUGAL'S MOTHER...
M: Bill called mother up two or three months after this had happened and
said--they were friends, mother certainly had supported him-- mother wasn't
just as an uninteresting--she was a person who was a good businesswoman and he
called her up and he said, "well I think I've got something for Jim to do."
And they talked and she said, "okay." And so therefore everyday for the next
year or so, mother would say "have you heard from Bill? Has Bill called you
about the job?" And of course Bill hadn't called me. Bill was trying to make
mother feel good. He said something that caused a lot more trouble than he
could have anticipated.
Q: Bill Clinton calls you and asks for $3000.
M: I almost laughed. You know most people thought that would make a grinding
resentment but I thought hell, that is so typical of a politician, that you
know you've just gotten your head out from under the guillotine, you're in
horrible physical shape, you've got no money and they're worried about, about
Q: Was it something particular that he wanted it for. Was it a Whitewater
M: I think the reason that I knew it was Hillary, he said Hillary said we had
to pay some bookkeeping or something.
BILL CLINTON VISITS JIM MCDOUGAL ...
M: I don't know that he said that exactly . I was down there very early in
the morning and Bill came by and I had a new chair there, it was sort of art
deco but it was posturepedic - my back was bothering me. and Bill had been
jogging and it was warm weather and he was perspiring and he sat down in the
chair and after he had been there 30 minutes and got up and left the outline of
Bill Clinton was in salt on the new chair. And I think I said to another
person present there, "I don't mind having to support him I just wish he hadn't
ruined my chair."
Q: (mild laughter) Was it at that meeting that you decided to, uh...
M: Yes, I said "yeah sure, we'll give Hillary some of this legal work" and it
was probably 6:30 in the morning and within a couple of hours she came by and
we talked a little bit and agreed to put her on retainer at $2000 a month.
Q: And she did some, she did some work, she did the Castle Grande work,
M: Yes. Right.
Q: She was the lawyer of record on Castle Grande
Q: The famous meeting that did or did not take place between you and Mr. Hale
and then governor Clinton out at your office at Castle Grande. As you know
David Hale said there was such a meeting. He had three meetings with Governor
Clinton. Do you believe him? You're a party to one of them.
Hale and I had a meeting to discuss a shopping center he was proposing to build
on property at Castle Grande and then governor Clinton arrived after we had
concluded the meeting and had gotten out in the yard and I was getting ready to
turn and go to my car and Mr. Hale was going to go to his car. So it was a
very brief conversation involving the Governor but he was not at a meeting.
Q: And he asked about the $300,000 loan to Susan?
M: Yes. Well he asked about Susan's loan. And, now again I don't want to
hold out that I can reconstruct a conversation that took place however many
years ago that was, 13-14 whatever. Because I can't.
M: But the thrust of it was--he inquired if we had discussed Susan's loan.
And I was absolutely astounded. First of all astounded, well not really
astounded that he showed up because he was always dropping in somewhere or
other over the years, you; know, you're a southerner you know you drop in on
people, but I was surprised. I hadn't asked him to come by. Mr. Hale
certainly hadn't. Uh, he was just there, asking about something that I had no
idea how he would have any knowledge of.
Q: And you have no doubt that he knew that there was such a thing as the Susan
M: Well he inquired directly about it. Yes I believe he knew.
Q: Who do you suppose told him about that?
M: I'll let you draw your own conclusion.
M: I think we just need to understand that there are certain things that I'm
not going to say and one thing I'm not going to say is anything that will
reflect badly on Susan McDougal, no matter what she has to say about me I wish
her well, I'm very fond of her.
Q: You and David Hale had had a business meeting, the thing had concluded and
behold the governor shows up, there is some conversation, presumably greetings
and salutations and he asks about the Susan loan. Wasn't there at least one
other person in a position to say whether the Governor had been out there that
M: Uh, yes.
Q: And it's our information that that person is known to the independent
Q: And wouldn't that in your view suggest that the president was lying in his
videotaped testimony in your trial.
M: For that you'll want to read my book which I will, where I will divulge the
name of this person and cover that episode in detail.
Q: If in1990 yours and Bill Clinton's positions had been reversed, which isn't
entirely inconceivable, would you have made that call?
M: If our positions had been reversed and if Chuck Banks had indicted
him--Chuck having been appointed by John Paul Hammerschmidt, the Congressman we
had both run against-- I would have stumped the state to try to free Bill, I
would have considered it a political indictment.
Q: --that doesn't say something about friendship?
M: Doesn't say anything about friendship. It says something about character.
Says something about bravery, about intrepidity.
Q: What have you learned over these years about--
M: (Interrupting) These people like Clinton and Tucker are smart enough to
abandon the field of battle when it's no longer to their advantage to
persevere. I've always been too stubborn and stupid to do that...
M: Well I think that that's an umbrella, Whitewater is an umbrella term that's
been applied to most of the presidential actions of Bill Clinton that are
subject to criticism and investigation. The peripheral things like Webb
Hubbell. Webb Hubbell had nothing to do with Whitewater, doesn't know where it
is , never touched it, never articulated the word, I'm sure, until the IC
started in on him. Yet, because of what we call Whitewater he's gone to prison
, and he may go again. Uh, can I tell you what Whitewater is. That would be
like trying to tell you, explain to you the collective philosophies of the
Western World, in two hours, no I can't do it.
I'm sorry but it has grown like toopsy, it is at the point that it is beyond
any one person description and all we can do is nibble off a little corner and
all you can do is present the players and say here are the lines these players
have to speak. And the public will have to employ their little gray cells to
decide what it's about. Or if it's about nothing. It could be about nothing
Q: It could?
M: The ultimate verdict of history could be to conclude that its not really
that important . Is it as important as Mao's Long March? I don't know.
Q: Is it as important as third-rate burglary at the Watergate?
M: I don't know. I'll say this and this is the last thing I'm going to say
cause we are through - If they had been forthcoming, if they had told the
absolute truth from the outset this story would have died a long, long long
time ago. It's the lying about it. It is following the Watergate scenario to
a T. Right down to the fellow being elected by an overwhelming majority and
then it getting worse and worse and worse. That's it.
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