Let’s Talk Clinton: David Halberstam

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. . . next luminary . . .

Clinton is a terrific candidate, and not in as bad a hole as people claim.

He’s stumbled. But if he shows a clear vision and moves the country ahead on critical issues like NAFTA, health care, and the economy, I think that he’ll hold the center and the American people will accept his bona fides.

All the judging on the week-in-review [programs] and all the report cards aren’t as bad as they seem. The American people are fair-minded and don’t like the hounding and out-of-control harassment on Whitewater and the like.

We long ago lost the leverage of the political party system because of TV. But there was leverage in being a Cold War president. When that card was pulled, you’re talking about a diminished presidency. Clinton’s got fewer aces than candidates in the past. It makes him seem less skillful. But I think he’s a very good politician. It’s foolish to underestimate him.

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