First, We Have to Roll Up Our Sleeves Bill Clinton Explains

How He Will Make the Hard Choices That Lie Ahead. And, with his wife HILLARY, he describes a political partnership without precedent in the history of the Republic.

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Clinton: It depends. If we disagree and I think I'm right, I just go on and do what I think is right. And then she tells me, "I told you so." (Laughter.) We've always had a lot of back and forth. The only time we really couldn't do it was in Hillary's law practice, where it would have been inappropriate for her to discuss some case she had. Otherwise we have always just talked about our business, her business and mine, and given our opinions and helped each other to think through problems. I really respect her judgment. On a lot of these things, she has this mountain of knowledge and experience.

Q. How often is he wrong?

Mrs. Clinton: That's not the way we do it, actually. In the process of talking about things, which we do all the time, we change each other's mind a lot. There is just a different perspective about things that I bring, that he brings. And it's rare that I think he's wrong. I think that maybe it should have been done differently or the process might have been something other than what it was. But I can say that over all these years, I can't think of anything where I was really upset about what he did. We think so much alike, and our values are so much alike. It's more an exploration of all the sides and all the approaches and the way you should think about something. As he said, if he decides he's right, then he's right and then he goes on with it.

The other part of it is, you know, Bill seeks advice from everybody. It's not a closed circle by any means. One of the things that all the members of his Cabinet and Administration will have to learn is that he can spend an hour seeking their advice on something and then they'll be walking down the hallway with him and he'll stop and ask somebody else the very same thing because he wants to make sure he's getting all the information he needs to make a decision.

Clinton: I believe that if you look at the most successful organizations in this country, that's what they do. Hillary was on the Wal-Mart board, and I was always fascinated by the way those executives would sit around and have their meetings and take some issue and just talk it through to death and get every angle of it.

Mrs. Clinton: And not in a hierarchical way, in a team approach, where people were just as likely to say to Sam Walton, "I think that's the craziest idea I ever heard," as they were to say, "Gee, I agree with you, Sam." That had such an impact upon me personally. It gets back to my culture point. I think the best organizations encourage that kind of openness, that kind of cross- fertilization of people's abilities. Yes, there has to be a decision maker, and there isn't any doubt as to who the decision maker is on all these issues. There wasn't in Arkansas, and there won't be in the White House.

Q. Has anyone said, "That's the craziest idea I ever heard" since you've been elected?

Clinton: Most of the people who have any relationship with me feel free to disagree with me.

Q. And that hasn't changed?

Clinton: No, I think what will happen . . .

Mrs. Clinton: They bow down first, before they disagree. (Laughter.) They drop to their knees. . .

Clinton: If I read that in TIME, I'm going to play golf all during the Christmas season . . .

Mrs. Clinton: We haven't gone to the mat on the floor yet. . .

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