An Inclusive Litany

10/8/01

In a conversation with Nicholas Lemann in the New Yorker, October 8, 2001, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) gives her own perspective:
We talked about possible responses to the attack, and then I asked her how she thought people would react to knowing that they are on the receiving end of a murderous anger.

"Oh, I am well aware that it is out there. One of the most difficult experiences that I personally had in the White House was during the health-care debate, being the object of extraordinary rage. I remember being in Seattle. I was there to make a speech about health care. This was probably August of '94. Radio talk-show hosts had urged their listeners to come out and yell and scream and carry on and prevent people from hearing me speak. There were threats that were coming in, and certain people didn't want me to speak, and they started taking weapons off people, and arresting people. I've had firsthand looks at this unreasoning anger and hatred that is focussed on an individual you don't know, a cause that you despise—whatever motivates people."

[Ed.: As for her husband, the New York Times reports: "Several people who know Mr. Clinton said he could not help but lament that he was not in the thick of the action.... A close friend of Mr. Clinton put it this way: 'He has said there has to be a defining moment in a presidency that really makes a great presidency. He didn't have one.' " Mr. Clinton also confided to Paul McCartney's girlfriend that he would do a better job at combating terrorists than President Bush, since he had more experience at it, or something to that effect.]

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