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He said, she said, they said

by Michael Storey | February 19, 2012 at 4:15 a.m.

— Here are a few of the scores of quotations from the American Experience documentary Clinton.

“It was a persecution, not a prosecution.”

— Journalist Max Brantley on Kenneth Starr’s investigation of Clinton

“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” — Bill Clinton in grand jury testimony, Aug. 17, 1998

“Yes, I felt betrayed. He lied to me.”

— Aide Betsey Wright on the Clinton-Lewinsky affair

“He always gets up and tries to make it better. What else can you ask from a sinner?”

— Former press secretary Dee Dee Myers

“The rumors of him messing around were out there. Not only did she appear, but she was a lounge singer!”

— Journalist Joe Klein, on the Gennifer Flowers affair

“I’m not sittin’ here some little woman standin’ by my man like Tammy Wynette. I’m sittin’ here because I love him.”

— Hillary Clinton in 1992 60 Minutes interview

“In this small state, politics is art and it’s entertainment and he was the best we had seen.”

— Journalist John Brummett on Clinton’s years as governor

“Her friends thought she was absolutely mad.”

— Author Gail Sheehy on Hillary Rodham’s decision to follow Clinton to Arkansas

“There was just something about her that put people off.”

— Brantley on Arkansas’ first reaction to Hillary

“They are literally mesmerized. He needed that kind of adoration.”

— Campaign aide Marla Crider on Clinton’s appeal to women

“Lord, Lord, it was bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.”

— Paul Fray, Clinton’s 1974 campaign manager, on fending off Clinton groupies

“They were young and full of themselves. They thought they could change the world.”

— Brantley on Bill and Hillary after Clinton was elected governor

“He took it incredibly hard. He wanted to talk about one thing: ‘What’d I do wrong?’”

— Brummett on Clinton’s gubernatorial loss to Republican Frank White

“By the time it was over, I think she was one of the most popular people in the state.”

— Brantley on Hillary’s Arkansas pro-education campaign

“I’m thinking, ‘This is it. I’m gonna die and I’m going to be the last paragraph in the obituary.’”

— Brummett on flying with Clinton in a small campaign plane trying to land in fog

“I need some family time.”

— Clinton declining to run for president in 1987

“It almost killed his career before it got started.”

— Longtime friend Harry Thomason on Clinton’s lengthy 1988 nomination speech for Michael Dukakis

“It was probably the most shattering moment in her life. ”

— Sheehy on when Clinton finally confessed Lewinsky affair to Hillary

“They just despised the man and could not stand that he was going to get away with this.”

— Journalist Jonathan Alter on House Republicans’ drive to impeach Clinton

“When you hear someone say, ‘It’s not about sex,’ it’s about sex.”

— Sen. Dale Bumpers (DArk.) during Clinton’s impeachment trial

“It’s one of those things I never quite figured out.”

— Former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) on how Clinton rebounded after the Lewinsky affair

“Whatever you think of the man, he wanted to do the right thing for the people.”

— Thomason on the Clinton legacy

“It was a lot of fun to watch.”

— Klein on Clinton’s two terms in the White House

Style, Pages 50 on 02/19/2012

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