Famous Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein talked all things politics — past, present and future — to a packed sanctuary at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis Thursday night.
The former Washington Post journalist who broke the nation’s biggest political scandal with Post colleague Bob Woodward in the early 1970s had some particularly revealing insights on Hillary Clinton — the subject of his 2007 book, “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Among his takes at the church’s Town Hall Forum in an interview with MPR’s Gary Eichten:
• On her likely candidacy as the Democratic presidential nominee: The 2016 campaign will be “unlike any other. The sheer spectacle of it will be largely because of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. … Republicans are dedicated to wiping out the Clintons.”
• On the Clinton marriage: “This is a real love affair despite what we might think it is.”
• On gridlock in Washington: “We are not dealing with our existing problems, because we can’t have a fact-based debate on our problems in this country. Everything is seen through the lens of ideology and partisanship.”
• On big money in politics: He called for a constitutional amendment to restrict campaign spending, receiving huge applause from the audience. “Are we going to have a government by and for the wealthy?”
• On Watergate: Today’s media could uncover a scandal like Watergate, but “you would need an editor like Ben Bradlee and a publisher like Katharine Graham and the courage they showed.”
On Richard Nixon: “He was a criminal president of the United States who presided over a criminal presidency.”
On the casting of Dustin Hoffman as himself in “All the President’s Men:” Hoffman “was an inspired choice. … The great thing about ‘All the President’s Men’ is it shows you that reporting works to find the best attainable version of the truth.”