Dim Sum Diaries

I have been reading Helen Thomas's "Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House" and its a pretty great read. She has served as the White House bureau chief for UPI since President Kennedy. She retired in May 2000 but she shares her most interesting moments from each presidency.

From the book:

Press briefing with Dee Dee Meyers, October 22,1993

Helen: Do you know the general topic for tomorrow's radio address?
Meyers: Tomorrow's radio address will be on crime.
Helen: Pro or con?
Meyers: The president's weighing his options on that.

* * *

Les Aspin, a former Indiana congressman and Clinton's first Defense Secretary, had us all wondering when he was discussing the Pentagon budget before Congress early in the administration:

"It's not just a defense budget by subtraction. A lot of things will be cut, but other things will be increased. There will be a series of increases and decreases. The net result of the increases and decreases will be a net cut, but it certainly is not going to be as big as the gross cut from adding up the cuts."

Unrelated to the book, I've always admired Clinton's self-deprecating sense of humor, which is classically illustrated in the "Clinton's Final Days" video shown at the 2000 White House Correspondents Dinner. Pretty damn funny stuff.