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Obama Brings Up The Clintons’ Secret Pact

From the Chicago Tribune:

Obama on the Clinton ‘secret pact of ambition’

by Glenn Thrush

LAS VEGAS — Barack Obama is starting to slip into his speeches a disputed account of a secret 20-year plan for both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton to win the White House.

“I’m not in this race to fulfill some long-held plan or because it was owed to me,” Obama told a gathering of Nevada Democrats after Thursday night’s Las Vegas debate.

That was a veiled reference to an account by biographers Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta that the Clintons sealed a “secret pact of ambition” to both win the presidency, which has been vehemently denied by Clinton advisers.

Asked if Obama was referring to the pact, a spokeswoman replied: “Barack Obama has not been mapping out his run for president from Washington for the last 20 years like some of his opponents.”

Clinton spokesman Blake Zeff responded, “This is an odd statement, considering that the number of people who say Senator Obama talked about running for president as a youngster seems to grow daily.”

Here is the reference to the Clintons’ pact from “Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” by Jeff Gerth and Don van Natta, Jr., pp 53 – 55:

Following the Heart to Fayetteville

NOW OUT OF WORK, Hillary turned her attention to Bill and their future together. In August 1974, she decided to join Bill in Arkansas. “I had fallen in love with Bill in law school and wanted to be with him,” she wrote in her autobiography. “I knew I was always happier with Bill than without him, and I’d always assumed that I could live a fulfilling life anywhere. If I was going to grow as a person, I knew it was time for me — to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt — to do what I was most afraid to do.” …

Though still unwed, Hillary and Bill had already made a secret pact of ambition, one whose contours and importance to the two of them has remained their secret across all these years. They agreed to embark on a political partnership with two staggering goals: revolutionize the Democratic Party and, at the same time, capture the presidency for Bill. They called it their “twenty-year project,” an auspicious timetable for two young people in their mid-twenties. And they agreed that the only way they would be able to achieve these goals was to do whatever it took to win elections and defeat their opponents. Bill would be the project’s public face, of course. And Hillary would serve as the enterprise’s behind-the-scenes manager and enforcer.

In a personal letter she wrote to Bill sometime before she arrived in Arkansas for good, Hillary laid out some of the details. One of his ex-girlfriends, Marla Crider, accidentally stumbled upon Hillary’s letter sitting atop Bill’s desk in his house in Fayetteville. As Maria Crider scanned the words, she was stunned by what she was reading. This was hardly the usual love letter. It was all about their mutual ambition, a game plan for reaching their shared calling.

“The note talked about all of their future plans…political plans that is the best way to put it,'” Crider said. The letter “had everything to do with their careers,” and Crider found it “so unusual that there was no talk of a home, family and marriage.”

Then later, in pp 128-9:

By the summer of 1993, the ways of Washington, sometimes called Potomac fever, had not dissuaded Bill or Hillary. According to one of their closest friends, Taylor Branch, they still planned two terms in the White House for Bill and, later, two for Hillary.

Branch described the plan to two Washington friends, John Henry and Ann Crittenden, over a barbecue dinner at a rodeo in Aspen, Colorado, that summer. The president would frequently talk with Branch, a well-respected historian and author, about his place in history, and shortly after he was elected president, Branch said, Bill asked him to begin recording “diary sessions”” as part of an oral-history project.

Branch had just come from one of those sessions, a marathon late-night chat with Bill at the White House, where the two men had talked as they stood on the back balcony, looking toward the Washington Monument. Now in the cool mountains of Colorado, Branch told his friends about the Clintons’ presidential plans. The bold goal of sixteen years in the White House took Henry’s breath away. “I was shocked,” he said.

And so it has been written, and so it will come to pass.

Unless more people come to their senses.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, November 18th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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