World Exclusive: what Hillary said to Barack in that Washington meeting last week...as told to Iain Macwhirter.
Hello, Hillary, please sit down.
Hi Barry, how’s it going.
Please, Hillary, my name’s Barack, I’ve not been Barry since college.
Sure it is...but hey let’s not fall out over a question of identity.
Look, the primaries., I wish I could say that it has been fun, but I can’t. I think you and your husband went too far casting me as a limousine liberal with no experience. Bill really antagonised the black vote with his patronising remarks as if I was some kind of bellhop in an Alabama hotel.
Heck Barack, don’t be so sensitive. We did you a favour by getting out the negatives before McCain got to work on you. It’s a rough old world out there. I had to take it too - for being a woman. All those posters saying Hillary - Iron my Shirt. The misogynistic attacks on me for that business about Bosnia..
Hillary, that wasn’t about sexism, it was because you lied about being under sniper fire on your visit there.
The hell it was. They just wanted to portray me as the little woman who runs for cover and can’t stand up to the bullets like a man. All down the line your people have been saying that I’m just Bill’s other half, and that I’m part of a dynasty as if I don’t have any kind of identity of my own. Well, as I said, I’m prepared to stand toe to toe to do what ti takes to take the blows and do it my way...
Okay. Let’s let the past be the past. Look to the future. Trouble is Hillary I find it very difficult to see you standing next to me at my inauguration, when so much has passed between us. When you have said that I’m not fit to take the 3.00am call about a national emergency; that I would endanger American security; that I appeal to a narrow section of society and that I associate with black power advocates. ...
.. ~I never said that..
....Sure, but you made you feelings clear over the pastor Wright affair and about my criticisms of small town America’s enthusiasm for guns and fundamentalism...
...All I said was that you have a choice in who your pastor is, and I wouldn’t have chosen someone who hates our country so much that calls on God to damn America; who is a racist and..
...Jeremiah Wright is not a racist..
...Oh yes he is; he’s a black racist who condemns white America, blames them for the ghettos, when that’s not right. And you had him as your pastor for twenty years.
...Okay, as I said let’s let the past go, and try to look to the future. The trouble is that if I take you on, Hillary, I destroy my strongest suit, which is change. How can I preach change if I have at my side one of the Clinton dynasty, and have Bill looking over my shoulder all the time, second guessing everything I do.
There you go again. When are you going to see that I am not Bill Clinton’s little woman, I am Hillary Rhodham Clinton and I don’t even live under the same roof as that man if I can help it. I am the first woman ever to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. I am change personified.
I take your point. You do have a strong base in the country, but that is precisely my problem. If I take you on as Veep I’m going to get this little speech from you every week, am I not? Let’s face it Hillary - you don’t accept that you lost the primary race. You took long enough to concede defeat.
I won a moral victory. If it hadn’t been for sexism and misogyny, and a fear of being accused of being anti-black, the super-delegates who trooped into your camp would’ve thought twice. Thought about whether you can really win the presidency when my voters say they’d vote McCain. I nearly won more popular votes than you did, and if Florida and Michigan hadn’t been fixed by your backroom bruisers I’d have won a majority of primary delegates.
Hillary, that is an unreasonable accusation, and you know it. I played exactly by the rules over Florida and I have not sought to pressurise anyone. But you are making my point. You don’t think you lost. You haven’t admitted it to yourself. By rights I shouldn’t have agreed to meet you until you had made absolutely clear that I was the winner and that you accepted the result.
Well, I’m here now. And if you want to play hardball, go right ahead. But let me warn you Barry, sorry Mr Obama, that I control the votes of white working class America as well as the votes of most of the soccer moms. and that if you keep trying to diminish me in the eyes of history then these people are going to notice. They hear what I say, and if I continue to say some unfortunate truths about your personality and politics, these people might well turn to John McCain.
Are you threatening me Hillary?
Nope. No way; I’m not falling for that one. I say what I say and mean what ~I mean and what you’ve got to think about is how the other half of America is going to vote in November. You need me for that and you know it.
Okay, Hillary. What are your terms. If I make you vice presidential running mate, will you campaign tirelessly for me? Retract your accusations about my inexperience, dismiss the attack dogs and put Bill out to grass on some golf course for the duration?
Who ever said I wanted to be vice president?
You mean, you don’t?
Hell no. It’s worth less than a bucket of cold spit. I’m no second fiddle. Been there done that, got the tee shirt.I can be more powerful as the first female majority leader of the Senate.
What are we talking about then.
I want you to offer me it so that I can turn it down.
Okay. I’ll think about it.