Feeling his Way
Clinton's former speechwriter combs the president's words for clues as to what he will do now that he faces history's judgment. Will he simply feel the pain of the "forgotten middle class" -- or address it?
The first time I met Bill Clinton was in a crowded hotel room in Los Angeles, a few hours before he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.
I was a survivor of the Democrats' debacle tour of the 1980s, having worked as a speechwriter for Walter Mondale in 1984 and Michael Dukakis in 1988. In spite of that record, I had just been hired as chief speechwriter for Clinton's general election campaign. I was nervous, but Clinton put me at ease, rising from the couch, calling me by my first name, gripping my right hand with one hand and my elbow with the other.