One day after Bill Clinton‘s “Obama needs to kiss my ass before I’ll enthusiastically campaign for him” quote was picked up by news services, Clinton and Barack Obama talked on the phone and had a “terrific” conversation, according to this Nedra Pickler AP story filed an hour or so ago.
OBAMA: All right, Bill. How do we do this?
CLINTON: Well, are you ready to kiss my ass on Main Street?
OBAMA: Heh-heh…okay.
CLINTON: I mean, that would work.
OBAMA: I’ve got a campaign to win, Bill. I need your help. You don’t like me, I can take you or leave you personally and who gives a shit? What do you want?
CLINTON: I want my reputation back. I was Elvis, the first black president. And I want a speech from you that pays tribute to that and puts all that race-monger, race-card player stuff to bed. I want it dead and buried. Like it never happened.
OBAMA: People respect you, Bill. I respect you as far as it goes. No need to dwell on the past.
CLINTON: I want my name back.
OBAMA: You made your bed, Bill. You, not me. I don’t control the press any more than you do. Everyone says you hurt Hillary’s campaign as much as help it. Probably more hurt. You’ve made yourself look emotionally petulant and hair-trigger with this kiss-my-ass thing, which tarnishes your rep. Not presidential, not dignified.
CLINTON: But here we are and you want my help. That’s where we are right now.
OBAMA: I’m not going to get into the way you and Hillary played your cards with the rust-belt voters.
CLINTON: I want to move on the way you want to move on. I have a price, is all. Nothing is for free. Everybody wants what they want. You want what you want, but to get that you need to give me what I want. Or you may not get what you want.
OBAMA: I’ll speak about you with respect and admiration, but I’m not going to go back to the campaign and say what happened didn’t happen. Let’s stand on common ground and go from there. That I’ll do.
CLINTON: Then we need to try again. I want an apology or I stay home. I want to be who I was before you and Hillary got into it last fall. Particularly the guy I was before last January. Before we started campaigning in Iowa.
OBAMA: You’re deluded.
CLINTON: And you can kiss my ass.
OBAMA: Okay, let’s take a break. Try again next week.
OBAMA: Adios.