Arkansas Business' 25 Clintonites (25th Anniversary)

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

Stephanopoulos managed to hang on as other campaign workers fell to the side, evolving into Clinton's campaign communications manager. Along with James Carville, the Ragin' Cajun, and longtime Clinton aide Betsey Wright, Stephanopoulos commanded "The War Room" in the old Arkansas Gazette building.

They won their war, but, as in any war, there were casualties. Stephanopoulos went to the White House, serving in several capacities, but left the administration at the end of Clinton's first term, tired and disillusioned. His 1999 memoir, "All Too Human: A Political Education," was a New York Times best-seller and, some thought, a betrayal of the man who took him to the top.

Stephanopoulos now is chief Washington correspondent for ABC News and anchor of ABC's Sunday morning program, "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

21. Harry Thomason & Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Hampton native Harry Thomason went to Hollywood and made a name for himself as a TV producer. Together he and his producer wife, Linda, created shows like "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade." The couple became close friends of the Clintons and helped them raise big money in Hollywood for Clinton's presidential campaign.

Together they produced the 14-minute film "A Man From Hope," chronicling Clinton's rise from adversity. The film was shown at the Democratic National Convention. The Thomasons were inaugural co-chairmen as well.

Harry Thomason, however, took it on himself to become involved in the affairs of the White House travel office, complaining about a lack of competitive bidding for charter flights. He just happened to own an interest in an air charter company, though he denied having any interest in getting White House business.

In 1993, the entire travel office was fired, which probably wouldn't have been a big deal if William H. Kennedy III, a White House lawyer, hadn't talked to the FBI about alleged financial improprieties in the office. Travelgate didn't fully die until 2000, when Independent Counsel Robert Ray, Kenneth Starr's successor, decided not to prosecute anyone.

The Thomasons remained friends and staunch defenders of the Clintons, and Harry wrote and directed "The Hunting of the President," based on the best-seller by Joe Conason and Little Rock's own Gene Lyons.

22. Jim Guy Tucker
Jim Guy Tucker and Bill Clinton were political rivals, something the national media never really got straight. Nonetheless, Tucker - Marine, lawyer, prosecutor, Arkansas attorney general, congressman, lieutenant governor, successful businessman and governor of Arkansas from December 12, 1993, to July 15, 1996 - was tarred with the Whitewater brush and paid dearly for it.

Tucker's problem was that he'd done business with David Hale, who'd also done business with Jim and Susan McDougal.

Tucker was indicted twice in 1995 on charges stemming from his involvement with Hale.

Tucker went on trial the first time in 1996, along with the McDougals, and on May 8, 1996, he was convicted of two felony fraud charges, which forced him out as governor.



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