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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

'All Too Human' chronicles presidential betrayal

March 8, 1999
Web posted at: 5:43 p.m. EST (2243 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 8) -- First, it was "Monica's Story," with its humiliating descriptions of Monica Lewinsky's affair with President Bill Clinton.

Now it's "All Too Human," former White House adviser George Stephanopoulos' tell-all book of presidential betrayal which gives some unflattering descriptions of both Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Former Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos has written a book critical of the president  

Stephanopoulos describes both Clintons as having awesome tempers and President Clinton as someone who was recklessly willing to risk his policy agenda for sex.

"What I tried to do is write an honest book, and I think it is a fair book that showed all sides of the Clintons, of the White House at that time, and not really try to make too many hard judgments," Stephanopoulos said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Stephanopoulos joined Clinton's campaign in 1991. Once Clinton was elected, he worked in the White House as an adviser and communications director until late 1996. He now works as a television commentator for ABC News and is a professor at Columbia University.

In the book, he writes that he felt like a "dupe" when he first learned of the truth of the affair between President Clinton and Lewinsky. He wrote that he doubted Clinton's denials in January 1998 when the scandal first broke.

"I didn't believe Clinton, and I couldn't buy the party line -- which meant I was the enemy now," Stephanopoulos wrote. "I didn't think I was a hypocrite, because my defense of Clinton against past bimbo eruptions had been predicated on my belief that he wouldn't create new ones ... For several years, I had served as Clinton's character witness. Now I felt like a dupe."

He also wrote that he began seeing a therapist after the suicide of White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster. The therapist who prescribed an antidepressant medication for him.

"All Too Human" is excerpted in the March 15 edition of Newsweek, which is on newsstands now. The book will arrive in bookstores Tuesday.

But Stephanopoulos is receiving some criticism for airing his feelings from one of his former colleagues.

"I think he (Clinton) gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and I frankly think he gave it to George, too," said Mandy Grunwald, who also worked on Clinton's 1992 campaign. "George would be back, you know, as a junior aide to (Democratic congressman) Dick Gephardt, not a multi-million dollar book, you know, the writer of a book and a commentator."

But there are other former Clinton aides who have criticized the president. Former adviser and political consultant Dick Morris has offered outright hostility while more tempered criticism has come from former chief of staff Leon Panetta and former press secretaries Dee Dee Myers and Mike McCurry.

"Personally, I wouldn't write a book about the Clinton White House, but it's not necessarily for any reason of standards," McCurry said. "I just don't think it would be that fun a thing to do. There were parts of the process that would be better if you don't remember them, I think."

The president is described as feeling hurt by what he regards as disloyalty by long-time aides. Current aides insist the president's temper has mellowed over the past year.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer contributed to this report.


Stephanopoulos: Professor Next. Politician Someday? (12-4-96)

'Monica's Story' leads publishing pack into spring (2-12-99)


Larry King Live Highlight: George Stephanopoulos talks about his book "All Too Human" (3-15-99) video Windows Media: 28K | 80K


Monday, March 8, 1999

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