Dick Morris is a famous political strategist, author and commentator. His must-read new book called 50 Shades of Politics is filled with inside stories about his decades at the highest levels of power at the White House and all over the world.
He is also the President of Vote.com, was President Clinton’s chief strategist and advisor in the 1996 campaign. He has overseen the campaigns of a large number of American politicians including Trent Lott, Pete Wilson, William Weld and more. He’s now a commentator on the Fox News Channel and writes a weekly column in the New York Post. He has written four recent books: Behind the Oval Office, The New Prince, Vote.com and Power Plays.
Bill Clinton and Dick Morris
A friend and advisor to Bill Clinton during his time as Governor of Arkansas, since his 1978 run, Dick Morris became a political adviser to the White House after Clinton was elected president in 1992. Dick Morris was responsible for turning Bill Clinton to third-way policies of triangulation that combined traditional Democratic and proposals and issues to achieve maximum political and popularity gain. He worked as a Republican strategist before joining the Clinton administration, where he helped Clinton recover from the 1994 midterm elections by advising the President to adopt more moderate policies. The president consulted Dick Morris in secret beginning in 1994. Clinton’s communications in-charge Mr. George Stephanopoulos once said, “Over the course of the first nine months of 1995, no single person had more power over the president.” Dick Morris went on to become campaign manager of Bill Clinton’s successful 1996 bid for re-election as President, but his tenure on that campaign was cut short two months before the election, when it was later revealed that he had allowed a prostitute to listen in on conversations with President Bill Clinton.
Dick Morris first worked with Bill and Hillary Clinton during Bill Clinton’s successful 1978 bid for Governor of Arkansas. Dick Morris did not have a role in Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign, which instead was headed by David Wilhelm, James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, and Paul Begala. After the 1994 mid-term election, in which Republicans took control of both houses of the United States Congress and gained considerable power in the states, Clinton once again sought his advisor Dick Morris’ help to prepare for the 1996 Presidential election.
Everyone remembers Bill Clinton being associated with that infamous scandal with a prostitute. Did Dick Morris have any part to play in this? Oh yes, he did!
Helping With The Prostitute Scandal
On August 29, 1996, Dick Morris resigned from the Clinton campaign after tabloid reports stated that he had been involved with a prostitute, Sherry Rowlands, as reported by the Washington Post. A New York tabloid newspaper, namely, the Star, published a set of photographs allegedly of Dick Morris and the woman on a Washington, D.C. hotel balcony. News of this publication broke during the third day of the 1996 Democratic Convention. According to the Electronic Telegraph, these were unverified claims in order to impress Rowlands, Dick Morris invited her to listen in on his conversations with President Clinton. It was also alleged he had an out-of-wedlock child from an affair with a Texas woman.
Dick Morris resigned on the same day that Bill Clinton spoke and accepted the nomination at the Democratic National Convention. In his resignation statement, he said that “while I served I sought to avoid the limelight because I did not want to become the message. Now, I resign so I will not become the issue.” In his response, President Clinton praised Dick Morris as a “friend”, and thanked him for his years of service. Privately, several of Clinton’s aides were furious that in his resignation statement Dick Morris credited himself with helping the President “come back from being buried in a landslide” and that Morris ended by comparing himself to Robert Kennedy.
Interestingly, he was featured on two consecutive covers of Time magazine. The September 2, 1996 issue, which was released before the prostitute story broke, featured Dick Morris as “The Man Who Has Clinton’s Ear”. The next week, the cover had featured Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, and the headline read “The Morris Mess: After the Fall”.
In his book Why Just Her, on his defence of the “Washington Madam”, Debra Jeane Palfrey, Montgomery Blair Sibley wrote that Dick Morris was a client of Palfrey’s escort agency, and the first individual he planned to call in Palfrey’s defence.
Dick Morris Relationship With The Clintons
In 2003, Morris stated that Bill Clinton cocked his arm back to throw a punch, but Hillary Clinton pulled her husband away from Morris. In both versions of the story, she consoled Morris and apologized to him, stating that Bill behaved as such only with those he cared for most. According to Dick Morris, she has done this to keep him quiet and forget about the incident. He says this incident was the reason for denying Bill Clinton’s request to continue work on the 1992 campaign.
Morris has become a vocal and regular critic of the Clintons since his departure, in particular Hillary Rodham Clinton and her bid for the presidency. Morris has written extensively about the Clintons and also contributed to Hillary: The Movie, a documentary about Rodham Clinton when she was still a 2008 Presidential candidate. Later, after Bill Clinton’s comments about the similarities between Barack Obama’s popularity and that of presidential candidate Jesse Jackson in 1988, Morris put out an article on his blog that asserted that this was Clinton’s way of injecting race into the political campaign.
After Dick Morris left Clinton’s employment in 1996, he stated that he became very “disillusioned” with the actions and consequences of the Clintons in the late 1990s.
Since then he has become political commentator and critic of the Clintons (particularly Hillary), appearing on Fox News programs such as Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, and on various local and nationally syndicated radio talk shows. Here, Morris regularly makes predictions about candidates and their chances of winning elections.
In July 2012, he stated that he believed that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would pick Florida Senator Marco Rubio as his running mate; insisting “It’s the only choice that makes sense,” going as far as to state, “I believe Mitt Romney has known for six months that he’s going to pick Marco Rubio.” Romney would end up choosing Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.
In August 2012 Morris claimed that Bill Clinton was going to vote for Mitt Romney, but that he would still speak in favor of Obama because “his wife is hostage.”
Rewriting History was published in May 2004 as a rebuttal to Hillary Clinton’s book, Living History. In it, he argues that Hillary Clinton has presented a false “nice” persona in the book. Instead, he remembers her as manipulative, cold, and single-minded in her pursuit of power.
50 Shades Of Politics: His Latest Book
Written by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, this book is a relevant collection of short essays of Morris’ perspective of the current status of political dynamics of not only the U.S. but of the world. The book is uniquely written to provide the reader with a perspective that only a political insider can only provide on campaigning and politics.
Overview: For the past fifty years, I’ve been immersed in the thrilling kaleidoscope of American politics.
It’s been an amazing journey and unexpected evolution as I passed
through the shades of political coloration from blue through purple to bright red.
I’ve changed along the way. As a student in the 1960s, I began my career on the left side of the political spectrum—embedded in the darkest shade of radical blue Democratic party politics. From there, as a political consultant, I progressed to another shade—
purple, the result of combining blue and red to form a new color. That’s when I worked with both parties, sometimes in that extinct arena of politics formerly known as bipartisan cooperation. It was clothed in purple that I helped Bill Clinton pass landmark legislation like welfare reform, with bipartisan support.
The rest of my journey—from purple to red—was largely involuntary. As Ronald Reagan once said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. It left me.”1 Bipartisanship stopped working as the Democrats lurched so far to the left that I didn’t recognize them or support their agenda. So, ultimately, I became a bright red Republican.
Fifty years of laboring through the labyrinth of competing shades and hues of party politics gave me a unique vantage point and understanding of the perspectives and workings of both the right and the left.
I understood them both and I also understood that—at that time—things were not always so black and white.
Instead, there seemed to be at least 50 shades of politics.
I’ve advised Democrats and Republicans, men and women, conservatives and liberals. And I’ve helped elect 19 senators and governors (11 Republicans and 8 Democrats) and the presidents or prime ministers of 12 foreign countries.