Cover image for On the road with Hillary : a behind-the scenes look at the journey from Arkansas to the U.S. Senate
Title:
On the road with Hillary : a behind-the scenes look at the journey from Arkansas to the U.S. Senate
Author:
Halley, Patrick S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 2002.
Physical Description:
320 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780670031115
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
E887.C55 H35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...
Searching...
E887.C55 H35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...
Searching...
E887.C55 H35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
E887.C55 H35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Patrick S. Halley has had politics in his blood since he was a high school senior. But his life changed with a phone call in 1992 and an offer to work as a campaign advance man, setting up publicity and appearances for Hillary Rodham Clinton, then a presidential candidate's wife, a "secondary" in advance-man parlance. Little did he know that by saying yes, he would embark on a ten-year roller-coaster ride through the American political landscape. On the Road with Hillarytakes readers from President Clinton's successful 1992 presidential bid through two terms in the White House and Hillary Clinton's own victorious run for the Senate in 2000. Through Halley, the reader sees Hillary's multifaceted, sometimes misunderstood persona and often hilarious behind-the-scenes episodes. Filled with tidbits that only an advance man could know, trips to exotic locales across the globe, anecdotes involving who's who in recent Democratic history, and personal encounters with everyone from Fidel Castro to Ronald Reagan to Nelson Mandela, this is the ultimate book for political junkies and all of Hillary's admirers and detractors.


Author Notes

Patrick S. Halley has worked on the campaigns of a number of prominent Democrats, and in 1992 he became an advance man for Hillary Clinton, position he held until early 2001. He lives in the Boston area.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The subtitle pretty much sums up what the book is about; its appeal lies in the fact that the author was an advance man for the former First Lady.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Politics fanatics and Hillary buffs will jump at Halley's account of his nine-year stint as advance man for the first-lady-turned-senator the person responsible for organizing her public appearances and creating the perfect photo op. Whether rubbing elbows with Pamela Harriman or trying to keep Hillary Rodham Clinton and Fidel Castro on opposite ends of the same hotel, Halley thrived on the chaos behind the pomp. Neither jet lag, temperamental ambassadors nor stubborn heads of state were too much for the resourceful, hyperorganized and admittedly demanding Halley, who seemed born knowing how to fill seats and mediate disaster. Although unafraid to confront political leaders Halley once got in a shoving match with then President Clinton he consistently exudes humor, childlike wonder and a pinch-me sensibility about his job. Readers hoping for an expos should look elsewhere, as Halley has nothing but praise for the Clintons. He blames the intensity of their scandals on cutthroat Republicans and "media jackals," and highlights the Clintons' love and support of each other and Chelsea. Although no secrets get revealed (unless one counts the occasional unsightly bad mood), Halley gives readers satisfying scenes of normality: Hillary worrying about her luggage and an underwear-clad Bill highlighting passages from Seamus Heaney. "This woman was the real thing," thought Halley when he first met Hillary, and through 36 countries, 25 states, a slew of scandals and endless excitement, Halley's initial impression only strengthened. 8-city author tour, national publicity. Agent, Barbara Rifkind. (On sale Aug. 26) Forecast: Neither memoir nor political treatise but much like a well-staged photo op this good-natured day-in-the-life account puts all its main players in flattering light; fans of both Clintons will likely find it appealing. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

1 WHO? September 1992 "HOW'D YOU LIKE TO GO TO NEW YORK AND DO A POLITICAL TRIP?" Steve Graham asked over the phone. Steve is one of my best friends, a fellow Bostonian and a compatriot of the political wars. "For who?" "Hillary Clinton." "Who?" I asked, incredulous. "You know, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the woman married to Bill Clinton. You've heard of her, haven't you?" "Of course I've heard of her, I just don't believe you think I'd want to get near her, much less do a trip for her." The media attention Governor Clinton's wife had been getting was anything but flattering. Thanks in part to a couple of her own missteps, she had been cast as a prima donna, a militant feminist, and a political opportunist. She was developing a reputation for being shrill and unfriendly. I'd also heard war stories about her relations with her staff: that she sometimes showed up at events and then didn't go in if the arrangements displeased her; that once she fired staffers on the spot for no apparent reason. Plus she was the wife of the candidate, in political parlance a "secondary," and I worked only for "principals"-that is, candidates. "Listen, Pat, I'm committed to helping out. You in or out?" Steve persisted. "Steve, I have a great job and a nice apartment on Beacon Hill. I'm way too busy with my life to go chasing around after the wife of some guy running for President." After I hung up, I tried to get back to work. As chief of operations for the Massachusetts attorney general I helped run the state's top law enforcement agency. A serious pile of paperwork sat there staring at me, but I found myself unable to concentrate. I couldn't get Steve's offer out of my head. This was a heady time for Democrats. After twelve years in the presidential wilderness and fielding losing candidates like Walter Mondale and Mike Dukakis, it looked as if we might finally have a winner in Bill Clinton. He was smart as hell, had charisma to burn and an empathy for people's problems that seemed genuine. His opponent, President George Bush, was so out of touch with real life that he didn't know what a supermarket price scanner was. I hadn't been off the campaign trail for very long. I'd taken a leave of absence from work the winter before to run the primary campaigns in South Dakota and Hawaii for Paul Tsongas, a former United States senator from Massachusetts and a personal friend. But Paul bowed out after being trounced on Super Tuesday, and since then I'd settled more or less contentedly into my routine. Steve's call upset my equilibrium. I stood up from my desk. Did I really want to sit on the sidelines and miss the most exciting presidential campaign in decades? Already my heart was pounding faster in my chest. Visions of filling a hall with screaming partisans, of setting up the perfect photo op, of running on an hour's sleep and cold pizza danced through my head. I was a political junkie, and Steve had just waved a fix-in the form of Hillary Rodham Clinton-in front of my face. My addiction to politics started at an early age. Maybe it was something in the drinking water where I grew up. There's a small town in the Dominican Republic, San Pedro de Macorís, that has produced more than a dozen big-league shortstops. My hometown of Hudson, Massachusetts, is a lot like that but it's politicians, not shortstops, we export. Hudson was at the time a sleepy town of about eight thousand people forty miles west of Boston. I grew up in a rambling old house my grandfather built and was known in town as Ferne Harrington's boy, notwithstanding the fact my mother's name was now Ferne Halley. My father was considered an interloper, having lived in Hudson for only twenty years. Dad worked in the La Pointe Machine and Tool factory at the bottom of the hill and walked to work every morning in his company-issue blue uniform. I was a senior in high school when I got involved in my first campaign, helping out a former hockey teammate, Chuck Anastas, who was making a run for the town school committee. Eighteen-year-olds had just been granted the right to vote and Chuck decided to take on a forty-five-year-old incumbent. College protests against the war in Vietnam were inspiring a lot of people our age; we felt that we could change the world, that political activism mattered. Maybe electing some kid to the school committee in a small town wouldn't make that much difference in the grand scheme of things, but the raw sense of power we got from competing with the grown-ups was an eye-opener. I learned that if you want to change things, you've got to take action personally and that win or lose, people listen to what you've got to say when you participate in the political process. Chuck's campaign manager was another eighteen-year-old named Bob Durand, and at Durand's direction I organized a large group of kids from school to go door to door collecting signatures, putting up lawn signs, and canvasing for votes. It was a lot of hard work but exhilarating. Using persuasion both gentle and otherwise, I whipped my troops into shape, and we swept to victory on election day. I'll never forget the thrill I felt on election night as a group of us stood clustered in the dusty lobby of the old Hudson Armory listening to the vote totals being read aloud. Victory was ours! Anastas had won, and a small but passionate band of political activists had been born. Chuck Anastas was at the time the youngest person ever elected to a municipal office in the United States, and he got a lot of press coverage. The stories mentioned his loyal band of followers, and we soon got a call from a young guy who was running for the state senate from our district. His name was Chet Atkins, and he was the scion of a wealthy family who was willing to spend a considerable amount of his own money to get elected. We met with Atkins and sounded him out on the issues. Satisfied he was in tune with the things we felt strongly about-such as opposition to the death penalty and the Vietnam War and support of abortion rights-we joined forces with his campaign. Working from a beat-up old storefront office on Hudson's Main Street, we set about enlisting young volunteers. The thrill of our earlier victory had been infectious, and we capitalized on that energy to convince kids to give up part of their summer to help out. A lot of our volunteers were good-looking girls, whose presence didn't hurt recruiting among the boys, and after we'd snared the captain of the football team, the last of the female holdouts began showing up at headquarters. We hit a critical mass, and working on the campaign became the in thing to do. I guess you could say the Atkins campaign ran on idealism and hormones. When our territory suffered an infestation of our opponent's lawn signs, we took umbrage, and one night Bob Durand and I decided to take matters into our own hands. We waited until well after dark and then went around town in a rickety red pickup truck, plucking the signs from front yards. We were making great progress and had the truck just about full of enemy signs when the flashing blue lights of a police cruiser appeared behind us. "Uh-oh. We're in big trouble," Durand croaked. "Just let me do the talking," I said as the officer got out of his cruiser and approached our truck. "We got a call complaining about you," the cop said. "Oh, I'm sorry, Officer," I replied. "I know it's a little late, but we promised we'd get all these signs put up tonight. I guess we'll have to knock off for the evening if we're making too much noise." "Yeah. You boys go on home now. You can put up the rest of these signs tomorrow." Durand just looked at me and shook his head. Atkins won his race and shortly thereafter hired both Durand and me to work in his legislative office at the State House. At the age of seventeen I was on the state senate payroll. My initial duties included running errands and answering the phone, but I quickly progressed to helping constituents and then to writing speeches, drafting legislation, dealing with the media, and handling Atkins's reelection. I knew that politics was where I wanted to spend my life. I just wasn't sure what role I wanted to play. A year and a half later I read a book titled The Advance Man by Jerry Bruno and Jeff Greenfield. It was the story of a working-class guy from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who had gone from driving a forklift at an American Motors plant to doing something called advance for President John F. Kennedy. The book took me behind the scenes of big-time American politics: choosing events; getting them organized down to the smallest detail; making sure everything runs smoothly when the candidate takes the stage and the cameras roll. It was a sleeves-rolled-up bare-knuckles sort of world where you lived or died on your wits, where millions witnessed your triumphs and the slightest mistake could make national headlines, a world chock-full of adrenaline, fear, maniacal attention to detail, and over-the-top exhilaration. I devoured Bruno's stories of screaming crowds, speeding motorcades, foreign travel, and the pomp and circumstance of the White House. It was a life as distant to me as that of a Hollywood movie star, but every bit as glamorous. By the time I finished the book I had a new goal in life. But I was an inexperienced kid and not about to be hired by any national campaign. So I waited for an opening. In 1978 Atkins was elected chairman of the state Democratic party, and he asked me to run the party for him on a day-to-day basis as executive director. I was twenty-four. On the national level, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter had been elected president in 1976, but his term had been marred by a poor economy and the Iran hostage standoff. He looked vulnerable in the upcoming 1980 election, and in the spring of 1979 there was rampant speculation that Ted Kennedy was going to challenge him for the Democratic nomination. My office was buzzing with excitement, fielding calls from around the country from people who wanted to help out. I saw my opportunity, and when Kennedy finally committed himself to taking the plunge, I attached myself to the advance team responsible for organizing his announcement. This was my first time in the big leagues, and I was a human sponge. I quickly learned that campaigns for national office are organized into five divisions: (1) Administration includes the campaign manager, strategists, polling, issues research, advertising, and speechwriting; (2) Finance is responsible for raising and accounting for the money; (3) Media deals with the press; (4) Field Operations, usually the largest group, consists of the organizers and volunteers who put up signs, collect signatures, drop off literature, and canvass voters by telephone or on foot; and (5) Scheduling and Advance allocates the candidate's time, makes sure events go smoothly, builds crowds, and decides which sites will play best in the national media. The last division was where I'd longed to be for six years. Now I was. Within this society of national campaigns there are different species of political animals, each with its own traits and distinct culture. And just like out in the natural world, sometimes one species wants to devour another. The creatures most likely to be at each other's throats are the field staff and the advance contingent. Field staff people, who have titles like state director or political director, take up residence in a state for the duration of the campaign. They tend to be methodical, workaholic, organizational types. Since presidential campaigns are really fifty-one statewide elections held simultaneously, each staff will have a specific strategy for winning its state. Advance staffers are constantly on the move, living out of suitcases. The job attracts mavericks, hyper, creative, seat-of-the-pants types, who roar into town on all cylinders and expect everyone to get out of their way. Sometimes our mission conflicts with the field staffers' priorities. They're thinking locally; we're focused nationally. For example, they may think a senior citizen event will help boost the candidate's chances in their state, while the message of the day from the national campaign is the environment. The state director may suggest two events, one for each message. But that would mean that nationally the senior message was stepping on the environmental message. Sorry, gang, no senior event. Then, of course, egos get involved. In more than one campaign I've been involved in, the Field and Advance rift has become serious enough to damage the candidate's chances. Kennedy's announcement took place at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall in late November 1979, and it attracted a huge crowd. I was fascinated by the level of detail; for example, the seating arrangements for the Kennedy family and important guests were negotiated for hours. I did what I could to help out, mostly running errands and helping direct the crowd. The announcement went well, and Kennedy's candidacy was generating a lot of excitement among Democrats, who perceived President Carter as being vulnerable to a challenge from California Governor Ronald Reagan, the presumptive Republican nominee. With the announcement behind it, the Kennedy for president show hit the road. First stop: Iowa. I arranged with Chet Atkins for a leave of absence and prepared to head out to the land of corn and caucuses. Before I left town, I checked with two older political operatives who had done presidential advance to see what tips they could give me. Frank Quirk was a grizzled veteran who worked in Atkins's state senate office. "Frank, I'm going to take the plunge and sign on with Kennedy as an advance man. What do I need to know before I get started?" "Paddy, here are the two most important things: First, never let them issue you a one-way ticket, unless you fancy being stranded in Timbuktu. Second, leave your credit cards at home, and never, ever pay for anything for the campaign. You'll go broke in a hurry, and you'll never in a million years get the money back." The other guy I called was a former Kennedy advance man named Jim King, widely regarded as the best in the business. "All right, Pat," he told me, "I'll give you three things to think about. Most important, if you say you're going to do something, do it. Your word has to be your bond. No matter what it is, close the deal. That's the basis for your whole reputation. Next, always deal with primary source information. Don't let someone tell you the mayor has agreed to introduce the senator. Speak to the mayor yourself. Third, you're not truly an advance man until things get screwed up and you fix them. On the spot. A lot of people can plan a flawless event, maybe even pull it off. It takes an advance man to salvage a situation when things turn ugly." I had a lot to think about on the flight to Iowa City. Kennedy was going to be speaking in an auditorium at the University of Iowa with fixed seating for close to five thousand people. My assignment was to build the crowd. Those seats were bright red, and every one that went unfilled would look like a missing tooth to the press cameras. I worked like a demon for twenty hours a day. One lesson you learn right away is that you're being paid to organize, not to do things on your own. For example, you never put up posters or distribute flyers yourself. The time it would take you to hand out fifty leaflets could be spent lining up ten people to hand out fifty each. The night before the event I thought things were going pretty well. I was ragged, my back was killing me, and I finally made it to bed at 3:00 a.m. I can't say I got much sleep; visions of empty seats kept dancing through my head. I had to fill that auditorium or my career as an advance man was over before it started. The next morning I got out of bed to find the temperature at twenty below, not exactly ideal weather for bringing out a crowd. I went into the bathroom and threw up. I joined the rest of the advance team and we drove over to the site, and as we approached, I saw a line of people four wide snaking all the way down the block and around the corner. My very first job, and I had delivered. I felt a surge of elation I remember to this day. After a series of events in Iowa, I took a brief break for Christmas. One thing my friends noticed was that my time on the road had taken a toll on my attention span and patience level. I could carry on a conversation for only so long before I got fidgety and restless and wanted to move on to something else. In restaurants I wanted my food delivered to the table pronto, and I wasn't shy about letting people know it. I realized that this agitation was a by-product of the stress I'd been under, but I also realized that I liked the pumped-up, running-on-overdrive feeling. I had found my drug of choice. Shortly after Christmas I was summoned to Langley, Virginia, for the Kennedy campaign's version of boot camp, Advance School. There were about a hundred hopefuls in my class, and we were warned that only half of us would make the cut. The course was rigorous and included a detailed explanation and analysis of advance work, as well as a simulation of life on the road that included sleep deprivation and being screamed at by instructors playing angry vendors and harried politicians. But I made it through. I was now officially a Kennedy advance man, just like my hero Jerry Bruno. I did a few more events before the campaign started to unravel. President Carter got off to a late start, but the combination of a number of gaffes by Kennedy and a strong campaign by Carter soon had us on the ropes. The money dried up, and it became increasingly difficult to line up support. I headed home, leaving the failing Kennedy campaign behind. I was now twenty-six, older and maybe a little wiser. I took a job in the private sector, working for a market research firm. After the excitement of the campaign it seemed like doing time in jail. Two long years later, I jumped at the chance to help a friend, Scott Harshbarger, who was running for district attorney of Middlesex County, just outside Boston. When Scott got elected, he asked me to help run the DA's office. I didn't have a background in law enforcement and wasn't sure it would interest me, so I told him I'd test-drive the job for ninety days. I ended up being chief of operations for the full eight years he was district attorney. One advantage of the job was that it allowed me to take brief sabbaticals to help out on campaigns. In 1988 another Massachusetts Democrat emerged as a candidate for president, and I was asked to run South Dakota for Governor Mike Dukakis. I moved to Sioux Falls. South Dakota is a large state, and I'd fly from one end to the other to avoid the long drives. To save money, I'd hitch a ride whenever possible with Senator Tom Daschle, who was a pilot and flew a chartered plane. I'd sit next to him, trying to disguise my anxiety, peppering him with questions about the state's politics. Daschle was a great guy who really cared about his state and its people. Every summer he drove across South Dakota by himself, visiting all fifty-four counties, stopping at cafés and grain elevators to stay in touch and hear people out. On one of our long flights I asked him how many of his constituents he'd met personally. He was intrigued by the question and thought about it for a minute before answering. "There's a two-part answer to that question. The first part is: probably more than any other member of the Senate. The second part is: not enough." Dukakis came out for a farm states rally, an old-fashioned barnburner of an event held at the county fairgrounds in Sioux Falls. We were trying to build a massive crowd and did everything we could think of to attract people, including offering free pony rides and hot dogs. The day before the rally I got a call in my office. "This is Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen. I think this rally you're going to hold tomorrow is illegal." "Who is this, really?" I asked, incredulous. "Giving away hot dogs and pony rides is voter bribery, and if you do it, I'll have you arrested." "Did you go to law school?" "Of course I went to law school! I'm the attorney general of the state. And I'm telling you I'm going to throw you in jail!" "Listen, pal, this is just some cheap trick, and I'm not going to fall for it. Go ahead and arrest me. I'll sue you to the Black Hills and back. You got that?" I slammed down the phone and yelled to my secretary, "Get my lawyers in here!" The attorneys soon arrived and advised me to cancel the rally. I couldn't believe it. I knew that both federal and Massachusetts statutes didn't preclude giving away hot dogs or pony rides, but this was South Dakota. A colleague from the Middlesex DA's office, Jim Sahakian, had come out to South Dakota to volunteer on the campaign. Jim was a wizard at legal research. I told him: "Jim, get over to the library and see if there's some bizarre state statute here that would make this illegal. If not, I'm going to have some fun." Sahakian scurried out of the office with a legal pad under his arm. The media began arriving in force and were massing in the front room. I stalled them. My local barristers were still singing like a Greek chorus, trying to get me to fold the tent. Within an hour Jim was back from the library, breathless. Through the window of my office he flashed me the baseball umpire's safe sign. I went out to greet the media horde, stepped up to the microphones, looked right into the television cameras, and made my statement: "Just because we're giving away free hot dogs and free pony rides at our rally tomorrow, the attorney general says he's going to arrest me. That's the rally at the county fairgrounds, exit seventy-nine off the interstate, and it starts at noon. There's plenty of free parking, and did I mention the hot dogs and the pony rides are free too?" "Aren't you afraid of being arrested?" asked a reporter. "Arrested? Are you kidding me? This is the most blatant attempt at political intimidation I've ever seen. I won't stand for it." I held my wrists out in front of me. "I've got something to say to the attorney general. You want to arrest me for giving away free hot dogs and pony rides at our rally at the state fairgrounds tomorrow at noon? Well, here are my hands. Go ahead and put the cuffs on. Because if you do, I'll sue. And when I'm done suing, I'll own your house and the statehouse too." There was a moment of stunned silence from the press corps. "Wow!" someone said. "Can we use that?" "You bet," I answered. When the cameras were turned off, I looked across the room and saw Jim Sahakian looking green around the gills. "What's the matter? You gave me the safe sign." "Yeah. But I didn't know you were planning to dope slap the attorney general in front of the media. I hope you like jail food." The headline on the front page of the next day's Sioux Falls Argus Leader was: charges of voter bribery, accompanied by a picture of me. Not a bad picture either. The rally was a screaming success, drawing ten thousand people, at the time the single largest crowd ever assembled for a political event in South Dakota. I did take the precaution of rounding up five thousand dollars cash, which I gave to Sahakian to hold as bail money, just in case. But there was no sign of Tellinghuisen or his state troopers. I had called his bluff. In fact, a political columnist from the Rapid City Journal , making great fun of the state's top law enforcer, termed our skirmish the Weenie War, and Tellinghuisen wisely cut his losses and dropped the matter. Dukakis got more than forty-one million votes that fall, more than any Democratic candidate since the Johnson landslide of 1964. Still, he lost to Vice President Bush by just over seven million votes. We came close, within a few thousand, but failed to carry South Dakota, and I went back to Boston and spent two more years at my job in the DA's office. In 1990, after eight years as district attorney, Scott Harshbarger decided to run for state attorney general. I was the political director of his campaign, and after a tough fight to secure the Democratic nomination, he won a relatively easy race in the general election. I made the move across the Charles River from the Middlesex County Courthouse in Cambridge to the attorney general's office in Boston, the state capital. That's where I was when that call came from my buddy Steve, asking me to help out with Hillary. Steve Graham has been involved in politics all his adult life. He grew up in Dorchester, Boston's largest neighborhood, long a solid bastion of Irish Catholic Democrats, today a melting pot of every race and ethnicity. Steve's a big bear of a guy with penetrating blue eyes, the map of Ireland etched on his face, and a Boston accent so thick you can cut it with a knife. We first met, voice to voice, on the Kennedy presidential campaign in 1979. I was stuck in some remote corner of Iowa and needed approval from headquarters for a plane ticket to fly to Chicago to do a rally. After I had gotten the runaround from several young staffers, my frustration reached the boiling point, and I screamed that I wanted to talk to someone who grew up in Boston. I almost reduced the unfortunate neophyte to tears, but a moment later a gruff, gravelly voice with a thick Dorchester accent came on the line. "Who the hell is this and what do you want?" "Did you grow up in Boston?" I asked, just as gruff. "Yeah. Dorchester. What's it to you?" "My name is Pat Halley. I'm stuck in the nether reaches of Iowa, and I need a plane ticket to Chicago. All I've been getting is a bunch of bureaucratic double talk from the kids you've got handling travel. Either issue me a damn ticket to Chicago or send me home to Boston so I can get on with my life." I heard a deep chuckle, and within ten minutes I had my ticket. First class no less. "And listen," he said before hanging up, "next time you're in Boston, come in and see me." Steve and I have been coconspirators ever since. All told, we've won a lot more than we've lost, and people often seek us out when they need last-minute political help. The night after Steve's call was a restless one for me. I was definitely tempted, but did I really want all the stress, all the upheaval, all the hangovers? The term "political junkie" is not entire facetious. The mere mention of a campaign has been enough to make people quit their jobs, ignore their families, and start spending all their waking hours in drafty storefront offices in the hopes of electing some friend mayor or member of Congress. I've seen grown men and women act like the Dalmatian at a firehouse as it forlornly watches the fire engine pull out. The very thought that the truck will roll without it-or that the voters might actually make up their minds without their involvement-is enough to start them howling. It's not necessarily a strong ideological commitment, or even a paycheck, that lures these political professionals back into the fray. It's the heat of battle, the camaraderie of fellow campaigners, and the chance to experience that fleeting narcotic euphoria-winning. But I had genuine misgivings about Hillary Clinton. As soon as I sat down at my desk the next morning, I got a call from Jim King, the venerated Kennedy operative. "Pat, I'm going to get right to the point. You should do whatever you can to help Hillary Clinton." "Did Steve Graham put you up to this call?" "What does that matter? You know I never pass up an opportunity to have a chat with you. The point is I've been around a lot of these, and we've got a chance this time. And we've got a chance with somebody really good , Pat. These Clintons are the real thing. Don't believe all that nonsense in the media. Hillary Clinton is a fine human being. She's one of us. Her only problem is that she's saddled with an advance staff still in short pants. She needs the likes of you and Steve," Jim said, his voice filled with passion. Then, sensing from my silence that he had made the sale, he switched gears, and his voice turned to honey. "Now look, Patrick, it's only one trip, just a couple of days down in New York, then it's back home for you." Jim King knew my breed. That one short trip proved to be enough to get me to quit my job, sell my house, and run away to join the circus. --from On the Road with Hillary by Patrick Halley, Copyright © September 2002, Viking Press, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc., used by permission. Excerpted from On the Road with Hillary: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Journey from Arkansas to the U. S. Senate by Patrick S. Halley All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.