From Poverty To Political Legend: Arkansas’s Dale Bumpers

Born and raised in a tiny rural Arkansas town, Dale Bumpers was drawn at a very early age into public service, by his encouraging father.

Service in the Marine Corps during World War II was followed by law school, and any illustrious legal career. He was, as he called his 2003 memoir, The Best Lawyer in a One-Lawyer Town.

His political career began in 1970, when he ran successfully for governor of Arkansas. He then flirted with the idea of running for president,but ran for Senate, and served there for the next 24 years.

A fiscally conservative Democrat, Bumpers earned a reputation as a powerful and influential Senator.

In one of his most memorable Senate moments, Bumpers delivered a closing argument in the Bill Clinton impeachment trial.

In 2003, four years after leaving public office, Bumpers published his memoir, and that’s when I met him. So here now, from 2003, Senator Dale Bumpers.

Dale Bumpers died on New Year’s Day 2016. He was 90.

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Kathleen Willey’s Accusations Against the Clintons

Kathleen Willey was a White House volunteer in the Clinton administration in its first year, 1993. And it was in November of that year that Willey says Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in the Oval Office.

Mr. Clinton denied her allegations. And Willey’s detractors, including Linda Tripp, questioned her veracity.

Willey then claims that she was subjected to threats and intimidation from the Clintons and their supporters, charges that she elaborated on in a 2007 book period that’s when I had the chance to speak with her.

In November 2007, Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president was gathering steam, and I questioned Willey about the timing of her book.

So here now, from 2007, Kathleen Willey.

Kathleen Willey is now 77, and lives in Virginia.

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Lani Guinier

In 1993, the term “woke” had not been invented yet. But a prominent law professor nominated for a high position in the US government Saw her nomination done in by what we would now know as “anti-woke” sentiment.

Her name was Lani Guinier. President Bill Clinton nominated her to be assistant attorney general for civil rights.

That’s, of course, when closer scrutiny of her past writings began. And, she says, that’s when the misrepresentations of her writings began.

Guinier was a strong advocate of voting rights, and a strong believer that all minority voices should be heard in a democracy.

Ultimately, her voice was drowned out by her critics’ voices, and President Clinton withdrew her nomination.

I met her the following year, when she was on a book tour. So here now, from 1994, Lani Guinier.

Lani Guinier died last year. She was 71.

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Al Gore

In the summer of 1992, then US senator Al Gore from Tennessee was thrust into a much more visible public role, when Bill Clinton selected him as his running mate on the Democratic ticket.

That was also about the time Gore published his first book about the environment, a volume called Earth in the balance

And that’s how I met Al Gore, just a few weeks before he was nominated to be vice president.

The day I interviewed him if he had any indication that he was about to be nominated to be on the Clinton ticket, he did a really good job of hiding it.

So here now, from 1992, senator Al Gore.

Al Gore served as vice president under Bill Clinton for 8 years, before seeking the presidency on his own in 2000. He lost that election by a razor thin margin to George w. Bush. Since then, Gore has cemented his reputation as a leading advocate of environmental causes.

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Gennifer Flowers

In recent years it’s Donald Trump’s extramarital Affairs that have captured all the media attention. But thirty years ago, there was someone else who was all over the headlines, for her claims of an extramarital affair with a then-presidential candidate.

In January 1992 Gennifer flowers came forward with her story of a long-time affair with then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, who was running for president.

But as she explained in a 1995 book, flowers may never have brought her allegations public, if not for media articles the out of her, including a story in the supermarket tabloid the star.

I met her in 1995 when she was doing a book tour. So here now, from 1995, Gennifer flowers.

Gennifer Flowers is 71 now.

Robert Reich

Hope you had a happy Labor Day Weekend 2021.

Labor Day, of course, is the day set aside to honor the contributions of America’s labor force.

Most presidential administrations understand the need for a an advocate for at Workforce in the federal government. The position of labor secretary is therefore critical.

At one of the most influential secretaries of Labor in recent memory is Robert Reich, who served as President Bill Clinton’s first labor secretary from 1993 until just before Inauguration Day 1997.

Just a few months later, in May of 1997, Robert Reich and I had one of our several conversations. He had just written A Memoir of his administration experience, a book called Locked in the Cabinet.

So here now, from 1997, Robert Reich:

Robert Reich is 75 now. He still teaches, and is active political commentator. You can even find him in Tik Tok.

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