President Bill Clinton has been everywhere – he appeared on the Today Show this morning

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President Bill Clinton has been every where, on every network, talking to everyone. Why is he out and about…appearing on TV so much? He recently wrote another book so he has been making the rounds for weeks.

Here are some rough notes from his interview this morning on THE TODAY SHOW where he talked about North Korea (and you know that topic interests us here ON THE RECORD at 10pm!)

Highlights

*Asked on the Today show whether Newt deserves the credit he’s been taking for balancing the budget in the 90s, Clinton said:

“not really…the lion’s share of the budget balancing was done in ’93, which he led the opposition to…but it is true we worked in a bipartisan fashion.”

*said of Newt and Romney, the one with the greatest resilience will prevail

*also commented on North Korea

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Bill Clinton on Today Show (appeared with Mindy Kaling to talk about books)

 

q: take on concern about stabilization in north korea?

8:21:19 i think – we should be concerned but think president did right thing

8:21:27 he met – called pres of south korea, hillary met with foreign minister of japan, SK

8:21:39 basically want to do nothing now, so no provocation, time to sort it out

8:21:43 kim jong il’s son is quite young

8:21:46 when i went there couple of years ago to bring journalists home, didn’t meet him

8:21:49 apparently grooming himn

8:21:53 and what you don’t want is for military to feel they have to do something radical to reassert their control

8:22:01 ought to let them sort it out – make argument we’ve been making, which is, you ought to give up nuke power, let us work with them to grow food, create factories

8:22:15 hope we can do that

 

q: importance of books?

8:22:27 it makes you think, feel, gives you personal time but completely involved

8:22:43 get away from helter skelter of life

8:22:48 can always be growing

8:22:52 when hillary’s mom died recently, she was reading amazing book about what happens to brain if you lose faculties

8:23:05 by oliver sax

8:23:11 written new book – my mother in law – stayed young doing it

 

MINDY KALING TALKS ABOUT FAVORITE BOOKS, including tina fey book

 

CLINTON

8:24:28 i love tina fey, i think she is so funny

 

KALING TALKS MORE

 

CLINTON

8:25:22 thing about marcus aerelius – he was deeply spiritual

8:25:34 important today – as emperor he had aboslute power

8:25:41 and this book is in part aobut things he wouldn’t do

8:25:47 election today – most americans don’t think about – every time it comes along, i think about things you could do that you wouldn’t

8:25:59 thought about it while pres – are options i shouldn’t and wouldn’t do

 

COMMERCIAL BREAK

 

q: number one book – jerusalem – think it’s spectacular – why?

8:36:00 comes alive – so many books about judiasm written from perspective of religion

8:36:12 but really tries to tell you what life of city has been like

8:36:23 how important it was to christians, great scene of fighting, why mosque means so much to everyone

8:36:38 you fall in love with the city, breaks heart that ppl can’t make peace over it

 

q: in sept, you said, when everyone else counted gingrich out, you did not – putting aside politics, do you see him as man with tempermant to be president?

8:37:18 that’s what election is for

8:37:22 you find out a lot about ppl in the crucible of battle

8:37:30 they’re all turning on him now, running negative ads

8:37:23 it’s funny, they’re basically doing to each other in serial way what they did to dems in 2010

8:37:35 then they fight back – one rises, one falls

8:37:41 interesting – appears that right now he or romney have edge

8:37:48 one with greatest resiliance will probably prevail

8:37:56 that will be the test, taht’s what elections are for

8:38:02 when you’re getting daylights pounded out of you – i was pronounced dead mroe times than i cat has lives in 92 – that’s when you find something ppl want in a president

 

q: does gingrich deserve credit he’s taking for budget work you did?

8:38:29 not really, but he did work with me to pass some good budgets

8:38:37 balanced budget act

8:38:41 got work done on time, had decent working share

8:38:47 lion share of balancing budget was in 93, he led opposition to

8:38:55 mostly balanced before BBA was ever passed

8:39:02 from 96 on, gov tax cuts actually added to debt – true, but reason is bc of what we did in 93

8:39:15 if i were in his position, i would say that, it is true we worked in bipartisan fashion to balanced budgets

 

q: lincoln book?

8:39:56 read just about all lincoln bios – thought his was special

8:40:04 fidelity to facts, understand of political significance, humanity

8:40:12 this is a book you could read if you wanted to read novel, history, war

8:40:22 it’s astonishing book

8:40:26 came along near end of career, he was still full of juice – magnificent portrait

 

q: way of the world?

8:40:45 i read several years ago, but always recommend

8:40:50 it’s like a one-volume short history of civilization

8:41:03 not zero by robert wright – how we avoided destroying ourselves at last minute

8:41:18 big historical events – best one volume that i know

 

q: who first made you see books as ticket to life?

8:41:33 my grandparents had me reading little dick and jane readers

8:41:41 by time i was in grade school, had friends – race each toher to see how much we could read

8:41:53 friend’s mother told me things to read at library

8:42:00 read bios of indian chief – tried to learn

8:42:05 always stayed with me

8:42:07 always got 2-3 books reading

8:42:13 trying to finish bio of george washington – understand how we got started

 

q: read a lot of biographies – road map – why?

8:42:32 you get to see history, personal side of it at same time

8:42:41 also read a lot of crime novels

 

q: james patterson>

8:42:48 i do, like alex cross

8:42:53 read all sue grafton, daniel silvers

8:42:59 favorite character in fiction – gabriel

8:43:07 love them, devour them

 

q: al roker reads crime fiction?

8:43:20 i’ll read it – they’re my adrenaline junkie books

 

q: thanks for perspective on topics

8:43:36 it matters – now you’ve got kindle, nook – ppl can read without lots of space, less money

8:43:53 ought to lead to explosion of learning – should be good for us

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