Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Clarification from Bonnie Erbe'

A clarification: My last entry on presidential secrecy referred to former President Clinton's palsy relationship with the media, including a discussion with media type Ben Wattenberg, who then, I was told by a Clinton appointee at the time, leaked a story about his conversation with the president to the New York Times. Wattenberg E-mailed some people we know in common as follows: "If anyone knows how to reach Bonnie Erbe, please tell her President Clinton knew I was going to report it; I notified Mike McCurry in advance, and it was green-lighted by David Gergen." Point duly noted.This concerns an incident when I was called by President Clinton when I was in San Diego and the President called me. We talked for 50 minutes about my book: Values Matter Most.

It assayed what President had done wrong and what he had done right. He acknowledged failure across a wide variety of issues. The "confession" appeared above the fold in the NYTimes and I had my 16 minutes of fame --- appearing on most every political talk show available.

Howard Kurtz did a profile of me in the WashPost that was fair and balanced, except that he said I had a "sinecure" at AEI. In the previous decade I had written three books, wrote a weekly column, done a CBS weekly broadcast and edited a magazine.

My own clarification: I fear that this blog may sound like a braggard blowing his own horn.

I have made mistakes too. At least one per decade.

Just one example: I predicted that Sen. Bob Dole would beat President Clinton.

He didn't.

There are others.

Ben

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