Monday, June 04, 2007

Bill Clinton As Specimen: Another Quote of the Day

[T]his suggests the biggest distinction between candidates like Kerrey and McCain versus candidates like Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. It’s true that both have the same front-stage and backstage personas. But for people like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, the front-stage persona is the person backstage. Clinton especially: Even when the cameras aren’t rolling, he’s always performing. The fantasy about Clinton is that he’s exactly like you or me. But he’s nothing like you or me. After I followed him around Africa for seven days in 2005, this, to me, was the most startling revelation. Even in the most solitary circumstances, he lit up like a Christmas tree. He enjoyed performing in these quiet circumstances, often repeating the same jokes and anecdotes, including ones that had already appeared in his autobiography. It was like an imaginary camera was always rolling. Everything he said seemed meant for a dais.


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