Monday, October 13, 2003
In Little Rock, the Old Clinton Team Rallies Around a New Favorite Son
Different candidate, but the scene was all too familiar. Little Rock, just near the river. Wesley Clark's "campaign headquarters," really a hovel with makeshift desks and no phone lines. Some of the old Clinton boys -- Eli Segal, Mark Fabiani -- pumping the candidate: There's no time, General Clark, you'll have to announce tomorrow. We'll stay up all night to write the announcement speech! Get up at 4 to prep for the morning shows!
But this time around Ron Klain skipped out early -- he had a client meeting the next morning -- and caught the 5 p.m. flight back to BWI.
For an impressive percentage of the old Clinton-Gore crowd, the Wesley Clark campaign is doubling as a college reunion. There they were at the New York Democratic presidential debate last month, a revival act strutting into the greenroom just late enough to cause a stir: Fabiani, Klain, Bruce Lindsey, Rahm Emanuel, Michael Waldman, plus scores of mid-level extras from "The War Room." Buzzing around their man, again, making news, again, bringing with them a whiff of those legendary days: the backroom of Doe's steakhouse, the time James Carville cracked an egg on that girl's head, victory night singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" maybe 20 times on the steps of the Little Rock statehouse.
"Hey, it's just like old times," says Terry McAuliffe, who as head of the Democratic National Committee is neutral but still nostalgic. "We're all back together again."