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: No, I think a lot of the folks who are just getting to know me will just have to feel that out. But I really try to encourage that. You know, the trappings and all that stuff I think is bogus and gets in the way of honest communication. If they want me to be a successful President, they've got to tell me what they think. It doesn't offend me when people disagree with me.

Q. We can't stop wondering: the morning after the election, what were the first words you said when you both knew . . .

Clinton: . . . that I've been elected President? I looked at her and just started laughing.

Mrs. Clinton: That's exactly right.

Clinton: I woke up. She looked at me, and I looked at her, and we just started laughing, like, Can you believe that this happened to us?

Mrs. Clinton: A friend of ours said it's like the dog that keeps chasing the car and all of a sudden catches it.

Q. Do you think about it every minute?

Clinton: No.

Q. When do you not think about it?

Clinton: Oh, when I read my mystery books when I go to bed at night, and when I'm talking to Chelsea. I'm not obsessed about it. Look, the genius of democracy, the thing the Founding Fathers understood, was that by definition most people who could ever get elected to anything could do most of what they'd have to do. To be preoccupied with the institution of the presidency keeps you from thinking about the people who sent you there and the problems they have. I really do get up every day and just put one foot in front of the other and not think about "it" as if it were some disembodied thing. I'm just going to do the very best I can and try to have a wonderful time doing it.

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