|Counselor to the President|
August 17, 1997 â€“ March 10, 1999
|Preceded by||Bill Curry|
|Succeeded by||Ann Lewis|
|Born||Paul Edward Begala
May 12, 1961
New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Texas, Austin (BA, JD)|
I think too many Democrats are too wimpy. But I think they're beginning to toughen up.
So one important lesson of Vietnam is, the first casualty of an unwise and unjust war are the American troops called on to fight it. Their service should be honored.
But I think what happened was that Clinton knew how to fight back. And the way he fought back was on the issues – being tough in staying on the things that mattered to people in their lives.
It must kill George Bush that John McCain is the most popular and Beloved Republican in America.
My view was that the campaign had been a sacred thing, that it had been a real compact, because I was there and I saw the connection that Clinton made with people, and the connection that they made with him.
Most politicians, when they meet with a guy like me, or a guy like Carville, tell you about how they can win.
Again, President Reagan was sort of an amiable presence out at the ranch by the last 6 months of his presidency. He had no effect on national policy at all.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the most investigated couple in American history – now the most thoroughly exonerated couple in American history.
One of the problems we saw in the last presidential election in our party is that our nominee, while winning the election, which we ought never to forget, often lost sight of the difference between strategy and tactics.
I was the guy that told Bill Clinton he was going to win. I had gotten the final polling numbers. He had a comfortable lead. He was not going to lose.
I didn't spend a lot of time on national security the American people will be glad to know.
Again and again, I've seen Bush turn a blind eye as his henchmen have leveled zealous attacks against his political enemies – assaults which the president himself has sometimes directly encouraged.
Defining the terms of the debate generally dictates who's gonna' win it.
It taught me that Clinton's instinct to make this about your life as a citizen, rather than his as a human being, was the right answer to these things.
See, I think if it just became who's sleeping with whom, then there's no reason to prefer one party over the other, 'cause the truth is we're all sinners.
If it was about lying under oath – we actually know that Clinton certainly was deceptive, as most people would be about their sex lives – but, in fact, he did not lie.
This gets back to the fundamental lesson of political survival that Bill Clinton taught me, which is if you make it about the American people's lives instead of your life, you're going to be okay.
I mean, for all of his faults and the troubles in his marriage, Bill Clinton is still married to a girl he met in the library 25 years ago at school. Can we say that about many of our other leaders today in America, including on the right wing?
I don't like being a voyeur, looking into other people's marriages.
If George W. Bush is given a second term, and retains a Republican Congress and a compliant federal judiciary, he and his allies are likely to embark on a campaign of political retribution the likes of which we haven't seen since Richard Nixon.
There's the great line: the definition of a liberal is someone who's afraid to take their own side in a fight. And that's my problem with my fellow liberals.
It seems to me the American people never really forgave the Democrats for being right about Vietnam.
I'm a Catholic, but I used to love going to Vacation Bible School with my fundamentalist friends.