Didn't Clinton eventually admit to inhaling?

I’m pretty sure I read the story somewhere that he retracted that statement and that he did actually inhale but I can’t seem to find any proof.

You might be thinking about his appearance on MTV, when he was asked, “'If you had it to do over again, would you inhale?” He answered, “Sure, if I could, I tried before.”


Is there some reason for resurrecting this dusty old gaffe, or do you just want the joy of jabbing another spear in the former president? As President Bush says about his own past, “That’s old news.”

What the…? This is GQ. Maybe he just wants to know. Did you go spitting fire into the Condoleeza Rice hair thread?

If’n ya must know, I was chatting with a co-worker today about the whole Bush tape thing. He said that “at least Bush has admitted to it, unlike Clinton who said he didn’t inhale”.

I replied, “I thought Clinton later said that, in fact, he did indeed inhale. Ow, this coffee’s hot. Lemme double check that though.”

“About the coffee?”

“No, no, about Clinton”.

So I went online and googled and googled but only got the original “didn’t inhale” thing and not the later retraction that I believed happened. So here I am at SDMB trying to find corroboration for my mental hiccup.

To expand on Liberal’s citation, the former president admitted “trying” to inhale and failing.

I seem to recall him telling the same story in other circumstances, in a more humorous self-deprecating kind of way but darned if I can find it in a Google search. Despite the former president’s enjoyment of an occasional cigar, his aversion to cigarette smoke and to intoxicants such as alcohol is pretty well known, which adds some credibility to his statement.

“I was trying to say that I actually tried.”

sigh Shades of the “meaning of is”. We go from one guy who mangles the language intentionally, hoping to verbally dance around things, to another who mangles it unintentionally, while trying to talk directly. Maybe the next president will just speak in a normal, straightforward, articulate manner. What a relief that would be. We can always hope.

I’m no Bush basher, but let’s review:
CLEAR is pronounced CLEER. Just as it looks.
Now, stick a NU- in front of it. NU-CLEER. Nuclear. See how simple it is?
The guys who help coach his body language and delivery during speeches are dropping the ball big time on this one.

Except that it isn’t pronounced NU-cleer. It’s pronounced NU-clee-uhr. (Three syllables).

That said, there is nothing “inferior” about NU-cyoo-luhr or that sort of metathesis. In all likelihood, you pronounce “iron” as EYE-urn, and not EYE-ruhn, even though you’re “reversing” the r and the o.

But we’re so varied in this country culturally. He was trying to answer the question honestly, without offending either the people who would completely dismiss him as a viable candidate or the people who know they sure did inhale and would be put off by his pretending to be some squeaky-clean goody two shoes.

Didn’t David Maraniss try to track down some of the people he went to Oxford with and ask them if he inhaled or not? They said something like, “We tried and tried to get him to inhale, man, and he just couldn’t do it!”

Not to hijack the thread, but your co-worker must have a dynamically variable definition of “admission,” since Bush’s evasions makes Clinton’s seem forthright by comparison.

I don’t have any problem believing that Clinton didn’t inhale — I didn’t inhale either. In college when my friends were passing around the bong in the dorm room, just to get them off my back (“C’mon, just try it”), I finally pretended to take a hit when I actually blew bubbles into the bong.

I hate inhaling smoke, no matter what it’s from.

I didn’t inhale the first few times I tried to smoke either. He did sound a little weasely when he made the comment but it actually is credible.


How did you do that without blowing out the contents of the bowl, not to mention spraying the room with water?

Gently does it.

Secretary Rice’s hair was never an issue in her selection process, which was recently. Clinton’s “didn’t inhale” gaffe, on the other hand, was an issue in the race for his first term. It was also three presidential terms ago, and Clinton is no longer in public office. So the quote is history, and it’s irrelavant to anything happening now. The first part of my question shows that I did not know stpauler’s motive. His later post cleared that part up. The second part expressed my amazement and ridicule for folks who continue to throw darts at Bill Clinton at this late date.

In stpauler’s gracious reply to my question, he quoted his co-worker:

If the co-worker was talking about alcohol, he was accurate. Bush has been mostly open about his past alcohol problem. If he was talking about drugs, the president has always danced around the issue. Some accounts of the Wead tapes say that he was more open, in private, to Mr. Wead about drug use.

Irrevlevant if you aren’t interested in it maybe. We’ve had general questions on every period of history, and practically every president. Something isn’t summarily irrelevant just because it’s old.

Liberal, you’re fighting the good fight here. But you’ll never succeed at this. Some people just need to feel superior to others, even for tenuous reasons.

Plus, if you hate Bush, aren’t there far better reasons for it?

Am I the only one here surprised that Liberal has a grasp of the mechanics of smoking pot?

WHAT is so hard about keeping political potshots out of GQ???

stpauler made a perfectly good OP. He even got a few well-reasoned, documented answers.

But all this extraneous crap is gonna cease! Understood?

samclem GQ moderator