The Clinton interview has been the focus of much attention – drawing nearly 1.2 million views on YouTube and earning the show its best ratings in nearly three years.
All of this focus on a combattive Clinton reminds me of the 2000 Election Day interview he (accidently) did with Amy Goodman:
When President Clinton called Pacifica’s WBAI yesterday on election day morning to shore up the vote for Vice President Al Gore and First Lady Hillary Clinton, he did not expect to spend 30 minutes defending his administration’s record on the death penalty, the Middle East and racial profiling, among other issues. But that is exactly what happened when he encountered Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and Gonzalo Aburto, host of WBAI’s Alternativa Latina.
I was never a fan of Clinton, but I looked at him in a different light after this interview. The Democracy Now excerpt of the interview does not convey his mastery of numbers and details on topics ranging from Leonard Peltier to the humanitarian costs of the embargo of Iraq. All things considered, I thought Clinton was remarkably poised and on point, as surprised as he must have been to encounter Goodman.
whenever I saw Ossie and Ruby, I thought, you know, they’re beautiful, and brilliant, and talented. Their warm and they’re friendly and they’re humble. What is it that they are that makes me feel so good every time I see them? And finally, I realized that they were free, and always have been. I never was in Ossie Davis’s presence, not one time, that I didn’t want to stand up a little straighter. You know, speak a little better, be a little more generous.