February 12th, 2014
08:26 AM ET
3 weeks ago

First on CNN–Confidant’s diary: Clinton wanted to keep records for ‘revenge'

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Fayetteville, Arkansas (CNN) - Shortly before Hillary Clinton’s effort to pass health care reform died in the summer of 1994, the first lady asked a close friend and confidant for advice on “how best to preserve her general memories of the administration and of health care in particular.”

When asked why, according to the friend’s June 20, 1994, diary entry, Clinton said, “Revenge.”


That exchange is among thousands of pages of notes, letters, and diary entries penned by Diane Blair, a political science professor and longtime Clinton friend whose papers were donated to the University of Arkansas after her death in 2000.

Blair worked on Bill Clinton’s two presidential campaigns and advised the president and first lady throughout their eight years in the White House. In particular, she was very close with Hillary Clinton, who called Blair her “closest friend” in her 2003 memoir “Living History.”

Blair’s notes from 1994 and 1995 shed light on Clinton as first lady, especially her persistent interest in recording her and her closest advisers’ accounts of their time at the White House in order to both tell her own story as well as document what she saw as the truth.

Blair Papers offer window into Hillary Clinton

In the same June 20 entry, Blair wrote that Clinton also wanted to record her staff’s insights “just to get it down while still fresh, so when everyone else is writing their books, she will have materials - dates, meetings, events, to write hers, and for at least that story to be told.”

Blair Papers 4

Bill Clinton in 1979 with Hillary Clinton (L) and Diane Blair (R). Courtesy: University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections

According to the documents, this desire was especially strong because Clinton seemed to harbor a deep distrust of the media.

Blair wrote in June 1994 that Clinton regretted speaking to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, whose book “The Agenda,” chronicling the early days of the Clinton White House, had just hit bookstores days earlier.

“She said twice or more that she now regrets having spoken to Woodward, said she felt she had to [because] he was writing it anyway; I guess that’s his schtick,” Blair wrote.

That sentiment continued later into Clinton’s time as first lady.

In January 1995, Blair writes that Clinton expressed “her total exasperation with all this obsession and attention, and how hard she’s finding to conceal her contempt for it all.”

Hillary Clinton as a kindergarten teacher?

On Thanksgiving Day 1996, Blair wrote that Clinton thought the press were “complete hypocrites.”

“Say they want the truth, want power to be transparent, but in fact they prefer the backstage manipulation of B. Bush, N. Reagan, B. Truman, R. Carter,” Blair wrote, listing several former first ladies. “On her death bed, wants to be able to say she was true to herself and is not going to do phoney makeovers to please others.”

The distrust of the media caused Clinton to have legacy concerns for both herself and her husband’s White House, according to the Blair documents.

Blair wrote in January 1995 that she had a “lengthy” conversation with Clinton about “how history can ever be written when those who do the contemporary stuff are so wrong.”

“She said there was hardly a news story that she couldn’t totally refute,” Blair wrote. “How does one arrive at the truth… So where (sic) will be her story.”

Documents reveal Clinton’s private reaction to her husband's scandal with Lewinsky

Despite these legacy fears, Blair wrote that Clinton was hardly eager to record her thoughts and memories of her time in the White House.

“She told me she does not keep a diary and thinks it best not to keep one,” Blair wrote about Clinton in June 1994.

Blair later wrote in January of 1995 that Clinton said “she dare not… keep records of inti9mate (sic) thoughts and conversations” for fear of “subpoenas.”

CNN has confirmed the documents are authentic and has reached out to a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, who has not responded. There is no way to independently confirm the accuracy of Blair's specific recollections and direct quotations of the Clintons.

The Blair documents made news earlier this week when the Washington Free Beacon reported that Clinton told Blair that Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with Bill Clinton, was a “narcissistic loony toon.”


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. FidyCents

    And still the Democrats tout themselves as the party of WOMEN. Hypocrites!

    February 12, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. bobo

    It's all about POWER... is this the type of people you want running our country? Not me!

    February 12, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Chris

    wow, Hillary Clinton having contempt, distrust and hatred for pretty much everything and keeping notes for "revenge".

    Yep, add low rent, no class and ineptness and you have the whole story of the Clinton's.

    February 12, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Kendall

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    While focus groups agreed she was smart, some voters found her "too strong" and "too outspoken," according to the memo. One voter said, "She knows what she wants and she'll do anything to get it." They appreciated, however, her "straightforward" nature, saying it wasn't "shifty."
    -----------------
    I can identify with Hillary.
    Barring a REAL scandal (and maybe even then depending on the nature of it), she's got my vote.
    ***********************************************************************************************
    I would classify 4 dead Americans as a REAL scandal. Barnum was correct..." There's a sucker born every minute ". But then again.......What difference does it make now?

    February 12, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Rick McDaniel
    The perfect description, of a vicious, and vindictive woman.
    This is what the Dems want in the WH. It is no wonder America is a disaster.

    Not as vicious and vindictive as Dick Cheney. If you think America is a "disaster", get the Hell out; you won't be missed!

    February 12, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. rs

    Classic politics. Republicans may rue the day they savaged the Clintons so dramatically in the '90s.

    February 12, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. IvoteDemocrat

    She is going to win in 2016 anyway because nobody is going to elect the racist, nuts of the right wing.

    February 12, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. eugene

    Can't you see this old news is being leaked out now so it won't be an issue when she runs? This is more about campaign strategy than news.

    February 12, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. rs

    Ken

    OMG!!! A Democrat complaining about the press being hypocritical, now that's hilarious!
    __________________
    Why? Most media today is owned by corporations and the Right- FOX is even owned by a notoriously "conservative" foreigner. There is no "left-wing" media bias- not for years and years.

    February 12, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. UpsetVoter

    WOW ..... I did not realize that Hillary was so vindictive and distrustful. Was there anyone that she actually liked? She had a lot to do with the current healthcare bill. Were all the problems with the health care bill intentionally put in as revenge against President Obama who defeated her or the American people who did not vote for her?

    Generally, people see other people through a filter of their own personality. That is why a totally honest person is the last to realize that they are a victim of others. Are Hillary's feeling that all her predecessors were manipulative based on her own personality and her manipulations of the people around her?

    February 12, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Dean

    Arrogant and vindictive...the new standard for Democrat presidential nominees.

    February 12, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. HenryMiller

    "When asked why, according to the friend’s June 20, 1994, diary entry, Clinton said, “Revenge.”"

    Typical politician, forever after punishing their enemies and rewarding their friends with other peoples' money.

    February 12, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. me

    My favorite was how the media covered up the story of Sandy Berger, the National Security advisor under the Clintons, when he was caught carrying secret documents from Hillary's office in his socks. He said he forgot he put them there – and the media gave him a pass. Could you imagine the headlines if it were one of their "enemies". Or how Hillary was fired at 27 for being a dishonest and unethical by the Dem that hired her? crickets from the lamestream media who's job is to create fictional characters and reality tv celebrities out of politicians for the low info's to drool over. The big problem is how dumbed down our culture has become.

    February 12, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Fair is Fair

    I can't wait until 2017 when she is sworn in as our new POTUS!

    February 12, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. NorCalMojo

    damaged goods

    February 12, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Shootingstar

    Unlike the deliberate blank slate Obama came into the political limelight, Hillary has a lot of "history" and it isn't pretty. She's a foul-mouth, manipulative, power-seeking politician who lies with the best of them for her own sel-interest. He had no accomplishments as a Senator nor as Secretary of State (somewhat like Obama's Harvard Review) except to put it on her very, very padded resume. Our nation has suffered enough with the incompetent Obama...God help us if Hillary is elected.

    February 12, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. bobo

    "CNN has confirmed the documents are authentic and has reached out to a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, who has not responded." So....... imagine having Hillary for 4 or 8 more years after Obama? NO WAY!

    February 12, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Hector Slagg

    This is not anything new about Um, Mary Queen of Scotts, if I'm not mistaken no? It gives us a GOOD LOOK at Hillary, who must have took lessons from Lyndon Johnson. Johnsion was known for taking revenge on his "Enemies". The problem with hillary being President is she may zig when she is supposed to zag. Of course there is the problem of less and less jobs with Hillary.

    February 12, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Sniffit

    "Think they'll have anything to say about Hillary taking political revenge?"

    First, all of this nonsense is hearsay from a friend's diary. Second, the story is not about HRC taking revenge, but supposedly, according to said hearsay, having wanted to keep track in case she decided to take revenge. Third, if you told this story about a MALE Teatroll hero to a room full of Teatrolls, they'd slobber all over him and ask him to sign their babies' foreheads. Your POUTRAGE is ridiculously disingenuous.

    February 12, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. PushingBack

    Brace yourself, here come all the posts from people who won't see the humor in that statement.

    February 12, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "I would classify 4 dead Americans as a REAL scandal. Barnum was correct..." There's a sucker born every minute "."

    Irony overload.

    February 12, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. BagRace

    Politics are gross.

    February 12, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. nuclear mike

    She is NOT presidential material as this Country does not need husband & wife Presidents not did we need Father & son Presidents neither!

    February 12, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Bob Marley

    To people who want to compare this to Christie...
    1. Well, this does not make Christie more presidential. He is still a douche.
    2. It depends on how she acted on revenge (which we don't know). If she meant that she wanted to work hard and get her revenge through success, that's not such a scandal.

    February 12, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    Given what she was subjected to by the press and by her opponants, who can blame her? Just reading the comments on here is a catalog of hatred and envy by conservatives that reaches psychotic levels.

    February 12, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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