Bill Clinton, Still the Charmer-in-Chief

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Politico has a wonderful little article on Bill Clinton today. There’s almost no analysis, just the sights and sounds of Bill Clinton wandering a state fair while ostensibly campaigning for his wife. Take a look if you’d like. Here’s a neat moment.

At the state fair, Bill finally makes his way to where Hillary and her press corps are waiting, in a shed with enormous pumpkins the size of beanbag chairs. The blue-ribbon-winning pumpkin is an incredible 1,004 pounds.

I ask Bill Clinton if the famous watermelons in Hope, Ark., his hometown, ever get this big.

“Watermelons don’t get this big,” he says. “Last one I saw was some 270 pounds. That’s a big watermelon.”

He talks about pumpkins and watermelons — are you surprised that he knows about pumpkins and watermelons? — and how these competition fruits cannot have any holes or breaks in the skin.

“It’s seeds plus soil plus care,” he says. “Too much water and the skin breaks and you are eliminated. Use too little, and somebody beats you. It is about constant judgment. Like the presidency. Make it as big as you can without breaking the skin.”

I don’t know what that means exactly, but I’m pretty sure if I had been there and Bill Clinton had said it to me, I’d have immediately written it down like it was a brilliant Yoda-esque koan.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.