Knowing he was going to get mad, I watched him carefully before he got mad. He had a very relaxed and jovial manner as he mused about his new life of philanthropy. Then Chris Wallace changed the subject and asked this:
When we announced that you were going to be on fox news Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn’t you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President. There’s a new book out which I suspect you’ve read called the Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, Bin Laden said I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of US troops. Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole... And after the attack, the book says, Bin Laden separated his leaders because he expected an attack and there was no response. I understand that hindsight is 20 20.... [T]he question is why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?Now, Clinton has an answer to this question, and he could have just given it. But he aggressively inserts challenging complaints about Fox News.
I want to talk about the context of which this…arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…What Wallace asked just doesn't seem to be enough of a "hit job" to justify attacking the interviewer like that. For people who hate Fox News already, it might make sense, but he's on Fox News, being seen by the regular Fox News viewers. How is it a good strategy to rant on the assumption everyone knows Fox News is unfair? He gets irked at Chris Wallace in a personal way: "And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever." I hadn't been planning to think about Richard Nixon, but I got a Nixon vibe from this. He lets it show that he thinks about how his enemies are persecuting him.
So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me.
Clinton leans way forward into Wallace's space. He even jabs him in the knee a few times with his finger. Meanwhile, he seems unaware of his own ungainly body. He's gotten quite fat, and his suits -- which he keeps buttoned -- don't fit him properly anymore. He's sitting with his feet apart and planted on the floor, and the pantlegs get hiked way up so that a wide band of white leg shows above each sock.
In the second half of the interview, he gets back to his original relaxed, jovial style. Pants still hiked up though. Wallace ends the interview, saying "Mr. President, thank you for one of the more unusual interviews." They shake hands, and Clinton, says "Thanks." There's just a glimmer of an expression on his face that seems to say uh-oh, I might have exposed myself out there.