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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:00:06
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Over the next two days, we announced several more White House staff appointments. Besides George Stephanopoulos as communications director, I named Dee Dee Myers the first female White House press secretary; put Eli Segal in charge of creating the new national service program; and made Rahm Emanuel the director of political affairs, and Alexis Herman director of public liaison. I was bringing several people up from Arkansas: Bruce Lindsey would handle personnel, including appointments to boards and commissions; Carol Rasco would be my assistant for domestic policy; Nancy Hernreich, my scheduler in the governors office, would oversee Oval Office operations, with an office just outside mine; David Watkins would oversee the administrative functions of the White House; Ann McCoy, the Governors Mansion administrator, came to work in the White House; and my lifelong friend Vince Foster agreed to come to the counsels office.

Mammaws stroke was a major one, and in the aftermath she was racked by hysterical screaming. Unforgivably, to calm her down, her doctor prescribed morphine, lots of it. It was when she got hooked that Mother brought her and Papaw to Hot Springs. Her behavior became even more irrational, and in desperation Mother reluctantly committed her to the states mental hospital, about thirty miles away. I dont think there were any drug-treatment facilities back then.

The general formula for recovery in the 1990s was the extension of sizable loans from the International Monetary Fund and wealthy countries in return for necessary reforms in the affected nations. The reforms were invariably politically difficult. They always forced change on entrenched interests and often required fiscal austerity that made things harder on ordinary citizens in the short run, though it brought a quicker recovery and more stability in the long run.

After I watched President Kennedys funeral and was reassured by Lyndon Johnsons sober assumption of the presidency with the moving words All that I have I would have given gladly not to be standing here today, I slowly returned to normal life. The rest of senior year passed quickly with DeMolay and band activities, including a senior band trip to Pensacola, Florida, and another trip to All-State Band; and lots of good times with my friends, including lunches at the Club Caf, with the best Dutch apple pie Ive ever had, movies, dances at the Y, ice cream at Cooks Dairy, and barbeque at McClards, a seventy-five-year-old family place with arguably the best barbeque and unquestionably the best barbeque beans in the whole country.

On January 27, the actual reared its ugly head again, as a few of us threw a party for Frank Aller on the day he officially became a draft resister, walking along the only open road. Despite the vodka, the toasts, the attempts at humor, the party was a bust. Even Bob Reich, easily the wittiest of us, couldnt make it work. We simply could not lift the burden from Franks shoulders on this, the day when he put his money where his mouth was. The next day Strobe Talbott, whose draft status was already 1-Y because of an old football injury, became really unsuited for military service when his eyeglasses met up with John Isaacsons squash racket on the Univ court. The doctor spent two hours pulling glass out of his cornea. He recovered and went on to spend the next thirty-five years seeing things most of us miss.

The week passed quickly, the days packed with events and legislative sessions. I remember being particularly impressed by Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz and completely caught up in our debates over civil rights. Many of the boys were Republicans and supporters of Barry Goldwater, who they hoped would defeat President Kennedy in 1964, but there were enough progressives on civil rights, including four of us from the South, for our legislative proposals to carry the day.


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