Hillary Clinton “just tore everybody a new a--hole.” That's how Leon Panetta recalled former White House legislative affairs director Pat Griffin describing how the former first lady responded when she wasn't pleased with the staff in her husband Bill Clinton's presidential administration.
Little Rock, Ark., is abuzz this weekend with Bill and Hillary Clinton holding court at a 10th anniversary celebration for the Clinton Presidential Center that's also a sort of pre-union for Hillary Clinton's anticipated 2016 run. But if insights into Hillary Clinton from her husband's former aides and advisers are what you're looking for, turn instead to the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, which on Friday released a series of transcripts from interviews for its Clinton oral history project.
Panetta, who was Bill Clinton's chief of staff long before his stints in the Obama administration, offers some of the more colorful observations in his interview, which was conducted in 2003:
There’s no question that she was smart, she was dedicated, she understood the issue and people were a little intimidated by her. There were several meetings where she basically walked in and let everybody have it, very different from what the president would do. If she thought something was going wrong, she’d say it. She was much more confrontational in that sense.
I’ll never forget, Pat Griffin came out of that meeting and his eyes were that wide and he said, 'You will not believe what I’ve just been through.' I said, 'What are you talking about?' I had been at another staff meeting. He said, 'I can’t believe it, I can’t believe what I’ve just been through.' I said, 'What’s the matter?' He said, 'The first lady just tore everybody a new a--hole.' I said, 'Really?' It was that first experience.http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2014-11-15/hillary-clintons-confrontational-side-illustrated-in-new-transcripts?cmpid=yhoo