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Bill Clinton’s White House’s Impeachment Playbook: The Politics Daily

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We have two retrospective pieces that give the full picture of what went down:

David Graham and Cullen Murphy’s interviewed people close to the Clinton impeachment.

And Todd Purdum interviewed former Clinton staffers on how the beleaguered machinery of the White House managed to keep the administration going.

A few highlights, from Clinton staffers themselves:

Doug Sosnick, Clinton’s senior adviser: “I remember telling Clinton at one point, ‘The Republicans are never going to remove you from office; it’s the Democrats who can.’ Jihad against the enemy is kind of the easy part. The hard part is managing your friends.”

Mark Penn, Clinton’s pollster: “If you can keep it operating, if you can make decisions and prove to people that you can supply the product or function, then even if you’re guilty on some of it, it’s okay.”

Julian Epstein, chief Democratic counsel for the House Judiciary Committee: “All this stuff about cigars and all the other gratuitous sexual things were absurd. The foolishness of Starr and the Republicans not to see how the sexual material in the report would backfire was just jaw-dropping to us.”

—Saahil Desai

What Else We’re Watching

(Eduardo Munoz / Reuters)

The future of peace negotiations in Afghanistan is troubled. After a year of failed U.S.-led negotiations with the Taliban, the Afghan National Security Adviser says he wants his government to handle a new peace deal, a process that might be complicated by an election year. Kathy Gilsinan spoke with Hamdullah Mohib, shortly after his United Nations speech last week.

Congress to Court: If the White House tries to stonewall House committees now, Congress should go to court, Garrett Epps argues: “A president, his congressional opponents, foreign leaders, and the U.S. Supreme Court first tangled over executive privilege toward the end of George Washington’s first term. They are almost certainly headed for a collision again in 2019.”


(Mike Blake / Reuters)

America’s first cannabis cafe opened in West Hollywood, California, today.

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While the number of kid-focused publications covering politics has dwindled since the Clinton-impeachment era, existing ones must still embark on journalistic endeavors that require a bit of finessing.

When [Andrea] Delbanco and a few of Time for Kids’ other high-level editors gathered to write the piece, they debated how much detail to include about the allegations of wrongdoing against Joe Biden and his son. In their discussions, they also nixed an infographic format that would have framed the impeachment as a sort of flowchart or choose-your-own-adventure scenario. (“Too many confusing possibilities,” Delbanco said.)

What’s easier to explain to kids, sex acts or extortion? Read the rest here.

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