Blair wanted friends who could "make things happen", and the then-President was the ultimate prizeby John McTernan / January 11, 2016 / Leave a comment
Anyone who has met Bill Clinton knows how charismatic he is. The intense focus he gives to you and you alone–for however short a time–is captivating and indeed seductive. His charm is real and apparently always on. The voice is personal and informal. You know that he does this to everyone but you feel that this time it is special–he really means it for you. It is an unforgettable experience.
I remember a hard-bitten Westminster lobby hack talking about the first time Clinton did a press conference with Blair. The press pack accompanied Tony Blair to the US and they all had a hugely high opinion of Blair and his communication skills. But Clinton–”he was like Superman compared to the PM”.
The Clinton-Blair relationship is back in the news with the Clinton Presidential Library’s release of redacted transcripts of their phone calls and meetings from May 1997 to December 2000. This is a fascinating haul for anyone with an interest in politics.
Prime Minister Blair: Hello. (U)The President: Hello, Tony. (U)
Prime Minister Blair: Hi. Thanks for calling me. [Redacted]