That time when Hillary Clinton preserved a friendship for Zell Miller

One more reason this presidential contest is unlike many of the past few decades: We haven't heard from Zell Miller.

The 84-year-old former governor and U.S. senator has been laid up the summer up in Young Harris with a broken hip – although the local college basketball team is saving his seat.

Despite Miller's current silence, Democratic activist Seth Clark may have unearthed a highly relevant but unspoken relationship between Miller, who ticked off many Democrats because of his endorsement of incumbent president George W Bush in 2004, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Both Miller and Clinton served in the Senate at the same time.

Back on the Fourth of July, for the CNN podcast he records at the University of Chicago, former Barack Obama campaign manager David Axelrod interviewed Paul Begala, the long time partner of Democratic strategist James Carville.

Carville and Begala ran Miller's 1990 campaign for governor – their victory in Georgia helped persuade Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton to hire the pair for his 1992 presidential campaign.

As most Georgians know, Miller took a hard turn to the right after his gubernatorial career, his subsequent appointment to the U.S. Senate in 2000 and after the 9/11 terror attacks.

In his interview with Axelrod, Begala tells of the person who persuaded him not to cut his ties with the former Georgia governor afterwards. Listen to the entire podcast here.

Below is a rough transcript of the relevant portion:

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About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.
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