Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, November 18, 2004


  Feeling A Little Bitter Today...

Remember this post from August? The one where we got invited to "the big event", complete with VIP passes to every event of the week? The one where all of our friends would be mingling and partying while Aretha and Bono belted favorite hits from the stage? Well, it's all happening this week--and I'm not there.

I never voted for Bill Clinton for President. But I honestly adore him as a person. I also believe that he was a great president. And I had a history with the Clinton Administration totally separate and apart from my husband. And so, though I know that the invite was extended as a result of his relationship with my husband, I have very personal reasons for wanting to be in Little Rock to check out the library this week. And I am feeling quite bitter about missing it.

In '92, I was submersed in the Bush camp. I was a veritable Bush White House groupie. But when Clinton won that election, I was "volunteered" by my employer to work in Clinton's PIC (Presidential inaugural Committee). Through some realignment of the stars, I ended up with one of the most powerful positions in PIC. I was one of two people assigned to a "black office" (an office that doesn't officially exist) to oversee the production and distribution of all of the "free passes" to every official event of the Inauguration Week. Everything. We worked directly with the Secret Service and the FBI and didn't report to anyone else except the head of PIC. The FOB's (Friend's of Bill) passes, credentials to private events, all of the backstage passes for talent (which included Oprah, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, and about 1,000 other performers), VIP passes, etc--It all went through our office.

Needless to say, once people finally figured out who was holding the credentials, we were VERY popular with administration insiders, Members of Congress (many of whom couldn't even get tickets to the balls), and others who set their sight on events that they couldn't wrangle a ticket to. This was how I met John Kennedy, Jr. He needed VIP tickets to the Inauguration and a couple of the other events (yes, you would think he could have gotten them otherwise) and his cousin (who was a friend in our singleton days) knew that I had what they needed and Voila'! Instant friend.

So by the time I had met the Clinton folks, I decided that they might not be such bad apples after all. And they humored me, as well. I was invited to several White House events over the subsequent two years before I married my husband. When the President held the White House Rose Garden ceremony celebrating the University of Alabama's national football championship, I was invited. That's where I met Jim (Mik) Miklawzewski from NBC, who became a friend and personal political prognosticator. By the way, I always thought that it was funny that when I would call Mik at work, Andrea Mitchell (you know, the wife of the most powerful man in the world) would answer the phone! You would think that they would have secretaries and such. Nope.

And so it was that, by the time that Hubby and I started dating in '94, I had already known Clinton et. al for over a year. And for the record, there was never ONCE when I felt uneasy around the President. Never once was he the least bit inappropriate. The truth is that Clinton treats everyone (men and women) like they are his best friends. And I know of NO ONE on the planet who has a memory for details (names, faces, events, conversations, etc.) like Bill Clinton. He is amazing that way.

One day, Hubby (who was just the boyfriend at the time) decided to surprise me. He took copies of all of the pictures I had of me with the President, had them blown up to 8x10, and carried them to the White House for a budget meeting with Clinton. At the end of the meeting, he whips out this manilla folder of pictures and hands them to the President, asking if he will autograph them to me. Clinton opens the folder and says, "Hey, I know her! How do YOU know her?" Hubby says, "She's my girlfriend." And from that point on, he would joke and say "Oh, here comes "Girlfriend". How's (insert my name) today? And he STILL hasn't scared you off?" When I was pregnant (twice!) and looking even worse than I felt, he would say, "And how's "Little Mama"? You look fabulous!" And then he would giggle. Not in a mean way. It was just that he was lying, and he knew he was lying, and he knew that WE knew he was lying, which made us all laugh VERY hard.

Then in 1996, Gore and some of his enviro-minions were trying to push through a national monument designation that we knew would cost Hubby his election. That was bad enough--A dem administration screwing over the only Democrat between the Mississippi River and California to survive the '94 election. But the worst part of it was that they LIED about it. To Hubby's face. On numerous occasions. Clinton called Hubby several times the week the designation was to take place, and Hubby told him, "You do it, and you will kill any chances of my carrying this election". The next day, the designation was made. Clinton felt his "hands were tied by Gore". I felt Clinton was a wuss. And so, once again, I couldn't vote for Clinton.

After Hubby lost that election by less than a point, we moved on. Clinton called Hubby to advise him during "the unpleasantness", and we have seen him several times since. I am bitter toward others in the administration regarding their callousness over the monument designation--but I've never really been bitter toward Clinton. And I find him to be one of the most fun and most fascinating people I have ever known (and I have known LOTS of pretty interesting characters). Which I guess is why I AM bitter over not being in Little Rock this week.

I would LOVE to be at the library to see what they have on display about that first Inaugural Week that I lived and breathed for two months in '92. I would love to see if Hubby or I pop up in any of the 2 million pictures they have computer filed (surely...you would think...2 million pics? We've GOTTA be there SOMEWHERE...). I would LOVE to read the documents pertaining to that outrageously ill-timed monument designation in '96. And I'd like to be shaking hands, hugging friends and having some fun. Instead, as Hubby so eloquently said in
this post, we'll just be watching it on TV. And, yes, I'm still feelin' a little bitter about it....

Listed on 
BlogShares Listed on BlogShares My Bloginality is ENFP!!!

< ? Blogging Mommies # >