Skip to main content

Flying to New York on September 11 wasn't necessarily what I had in mind. Security leaving Seattle wasn't necessarily more stringent than usual, but there was definitely a hightened sense of awareness among security--almost a buzz in the whole security area, including the long line snaking Disneylandesque through the terminal. Despite the woman with the full make-up quit--most of which had to be disposed of while she was lectured by a TSA agent on what can no longer go in your carry-on luggage--and the guy who absolutely refused to take his shoes off to go through the screener, it was a pretty routine bunch of travelers and a pretty routine day.

Driving into the city from Newark, I got a crystal clear view of the two shafts of blue lights rising into the air from the World Trade Center site. The driver asked what brought me to town. "A meeting," I said. "I'm a political writer. A handful of us have been invited to meet with President Clinton just to talk." "Ask him what he'd do about this mess in Iraq," my driver told me. "Find out how he'd solve this thing we're in."

I didn't get to ask President Clinton what he'd do with Iraq. But it did come up frequently in the wide ranging discussion we had when we sat down with Mr. Clinton for lunch at the Clinton Foundation office in Harlem. But he did talk about Iraq, and healthcare, the Medicare drug benefit, energy policy, the estate tax, homeland security and protecting our ports, global warming, blogging, and just about everything else you can imagine. The least of which was "The Path to 9/11" and the fantastic work the blogging community did in the past 10 days in making it an issue. Yes, he reads the blogs, and has been for a while. That's why we were there.

It was a fascinating few hours, starting late and running well over schedule, as is usually the case with President Clinton, from what I understand. We didn't get to have the kinds of nuts and bolts political discussion that I'd love to have--what kind of strategy would he advise for canddiates in 2006. Is there a place of his "third way" politics when you're running against the most venal incarnation of the Republican party we've seen in generations. What would he do if he were to find himself back in the Oval Office tomorrow, and had to figure out what to do about Iraq.

What we did talk about was the rise of the left-wing blogs as a reality-based medium. He's very impressed by the amount of research and fact-checking that happens on the blogs on a daily basis, particulary compared to the traditional media. (Kind of makes you want to double-check everything you write, knowing that Bill Clinton is reading, huh?) He was impressed and grateful for the work done in pushing into the mainstream the travesty that the ABC/Disney movie was. He encouraged Democrats running for election this year to run as Democrats--to not run away from the party, and to stand tough on Iraq--regardless of their position on troop reductions, pull-out, whatever. The issue is making this administration and the GOP Congress that enables it accountable for the massive national security challenges we still face that haven't been addressed in the five years since September 11.

It was also a great chance to meet up again with bloggers from all over the country who are usually just names on the screen. We're there in this picture I stole from Jeralyn at TalkLeft. But Matt stole it first. John (the real photographer) has more at AMERICAblog. My camera batteries died, so all my pictures didn't turn out, but at least it was well chronicled by others.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 04:13 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site