Arkansas Business' 25 Clintonites (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

Slater was an assistant state attorney general who left that job to stump for Clinton in 1982, when he successfully sought reinstatement to the State House. Clinton made him one of his chief aides.

Clinton appointed Slater to the powerful Arkansas Highway Commission, the first African-American to sit on the commission. He was elected chairman in 1992. He was a senior campaign adviser for Clinton in '92, and after Clinton won his presidential race, Slater made his way to Washington as head of the Federal Highway Administration. In 1997, he became U.S. transportation secretary, leading a department with a budget of $38 billion.

Toward the end of his term, Slater talked about running for a statewide office, but after Clinton left the White House, Slater joined Patton Boggs LLP in Washington, one of the nation's most powerful lobbying firms, where he's achieved partner status. He's also a partner in James Lee Witt Associates, a risk management firm.

18. Socks the Cat
Socks, a black and white cat, entered the Clinton household in 1990 and moved with the family to the White House. Socks started receiving fan mail shortly after Clinton was elected president, and it just kept coming. Bill Clinton got a dog, a chocolate lab, in 1997, but Buddy and Socks never hit it off. Socks thought Buddy was "stupid, vapid and obsequious," sources said.

After the Clintons left the White House in January 2001, Socks lived with Bill Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie, in Hollywood, Md. In 2002, he served as grand marshal of the Little Rock Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade. He was said to be pleased by the fuss.

Socks died a few weeks ago, his reputation unsullied by any serious controversy.

19. Kenneth Starr
Although not an Arkansan, Independent Counsel Starr, the lead prosecutor in the Whitewater investigation, had more ties to the state than necessitated by his single-minded pursuit of Bill Clinton.

Starr was born in Texas, the son of a Church of Christ minister, and raised there and in Oklahoma. He attended what was then Harding College but transferred to George Washington University to further his political ambitions.

As more than one writer noted, the Republican Starr pursued Clinton with the same intensity that Inspector Javert harried Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables."

Starr even lived in Little Rock for a time during the Whitewater years.

He now is dean and a law professor at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif. He was scheduled to deliver in early March final arguments before the California Supreme Court in lawsuits over that state's gay marriage ban, which Starr supports.

20. George Stephanopoulos
Maybe we're stretching it here, but the young (30) and eager George did live in Little Rock for a time during Clinton's first presidential run. Stephanopoulos, who had been an aide to House Speaker Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., arrived in town in October 1991. A few months later, he was dealing with the fallout from Gennifer Flowers' allegations.



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