Vamshidhar Kommineni

September 27, 2006

National Leaders (Past and Present)

Filed under: Miscellany — Vamshi @ 2:21 am

I don’t normally care much for nor involve myself much in politics (domestic or international), but it’s been interesting to see a couple of the developments over the last few days:

1) Bill Clinton’s interview with Chris Wallace

Part 1 (from YouTube)
Part 2 (from YouTube)

It’s really fascinating to watch this interview. Being a leader out of office gives Clinton the freedom to say things he might never have said when he was worried about his image. A few things to note about this interview:

  • How much more articulate and intelligent Clinton sounds than Bush (regardless of whether you care for Bush or not). He sounds like a leader while being personable at the same time.
  • Choice quotes (all by Bill Clinton)
    • "I’m being asked this on the Fox network"
    • "That’s just a bunch of bull"
    • "I didn’t get him…but at least I tried"
    • "You did your nice little conservative hit job on me"
    • "Tell the truth Chris…Did you ever ask that question"
    • "You came to this interview under false pretenses"
    • "You people ask me questions you don’t ask the other side"
    • "We do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is only 1/7th as important as Iraq and you ask me about terror with such a dismissive attitude"
    • "You have this little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever"
    • "For God’s sake follow the same standards for everbody and be flat and fair"
  • Clinton cites Richard Clarke’s book and sings his praises quite a few times. I should definitely get around to moving this book up on my reading list (I have the book but haven’t read it)

Another recent interview by Clinton was on the Daily Show (which was probably the intended tone of the Chris Wallace interview before they went at it hammer and tongs) where he focused much more on his global initiative:

Daily Show interview (from YouTube)

2) Pervez Musharraf’s interview with the Daily Show

Disclaimer: I’m an Indian so take everything I say with a grain of salt :)

My reaction on hearing that Jon Stewart managed to get him on the show was "Whaa….?. How did they manage that?". I can understand Charlie Rose getting an interview (why is it that every international figure of note stops by Charlie’s interview program when they’re in the country?) with him, but not the Daily Show (guess it shows Jon’s rising stature even outside the country) It was a decent interview. Despite popular misconceptions, Musharraf comes across as fairly measured individual and a patriotic person with the demeanour of a professional soldier (which he was for much of his life).

The memoir, I’m less likely to trust if only because I wouldn’t trust the memoirs of any sitting national official (too many things that they can’t speak frankly about as well as being too close to the events). Most of the great memoirs and autobiographies I’ve read were written by people long after they left their positions of influence and were able to view events with a detached point of view.

OT: The ease with which copyrighted content is obtainable on YouTube is disturbing. I’ll have to do a post about that later.

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