The Man From Hope

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This video is the film that was produced for and shown at the 1992 democratic convention. It is a biographical portrait of Bill Clinton. Clinton reminisces on his childhood experiences, his adolescence, and his early political career. It is designed to showcase the values and life views that Clinton gained through his humble beginnings in Hope, AR. It is made up of interviews and narration, often placed over old photographs. The tape also includes an additional "special personal message from Bill Clinton."

0:09Copy video clip URL The tape begins with “A Special Personal Message from Bill Clinton.” In it, Clinton thanks the viewer for their support, but also warns that the fight isn’t over. He frames the election ahead as “a very stark choice… between hope and fear, between unity and division, between new ideas that will work and old ideas that have failed, between putting people first and trickle-down economics.” He also introduces the rest of the tape, which will be a biographical look at his early life growing up in Hope, Arkansas, and what values that small town instilled in him.

2:56Copy video clip URL The video opens on an old photographs of Hope, Arkansas. Bill Clinton talks about growing up with his grandparents. He also talks about how Hope was segregated at the time, but his grandparents were for integration and fought to keep the integrated high school open.

3:52Copy video clip URL Hillary Clinton talks about how much Bill’s grandmother valued education.

4:29Copy video clip URL Virginia Kelley, Bill’s mother, talks about Bill’s birth and how his father had passed away just months prior. Because she was now a widow, she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to make enough money to support Bill, so she left him with her grandparents while she went back to school to become a nurse. Bill recalls his mother crying once at a train station as they separated. Hillary says he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, “he was born into a house that had an outhouse in the backyard.”

5:30Copy video clip URL Bill and his mother talk about Bill’s step-father, Roger Clinton, who was an alcoholic. One time, when Roger became violent with Bill’s mother, Bill confronted him saying, “Stand up, I have something to say to you,” and when Roger couldn’t stand up, Bill said, “Daddy, if you can’t stand up I’ll help you, [but] you must stand to hear what I have to say.” Then once Roger was standing, Bill told him, “Don’t you ever, ever lay your hand on my mother again.” In the end, Bill still loved his step-father—”The problem was not that he didn’t love my mother or me or my brother, the problem was that he didn’t think enough of himself.”

6:45Copy video clip URL Bill’s brother, Roger Jr, says that Bill took over the leadership role in the family, even going as far as changing his last name to Clinton be the same as his brother.

7:30Copy video clip URL They talk about Bill’s interest in politics since a young age, and tell stories about the time he met Kennedy as well as his love for Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which Roger Jr. remembers Bill reciting from memory. Bill praises MLK and Robert Kennedy, and says if they hadn’t both been assassinated in 1968, this country would be in a lot better place.

9:53Copy video clip URL Bill and Hillary talk about how they met at Yale, and tell some stories from their relationship, including Chelsea’s birth. Chelsea talks a little about her father.

13:48Copy video clip URL Bill talks about how he acknowledged the problems in his marriage in the press, and how painful it was to watch that on national television with his daughter Chelsea, but that after the program was over, they asked Chelsea what she thought and she said, “I think I’m glad you’re my parents.”

14:32Copy video clip URL Footage of a speech Clinton gave, saying he’s taken a lot of hits “but nothing compares to the hits the people that this state and this country are taking every day of their lives under this [Bush] administration.”

15:09Copy video clip URL Voiceover from Clinton concluding the tape. He speaks nostalgically about Hope, Arkansas, and the sadness in his life that he never got to know his father, but that he hopes he learned from it as all people do from difficulty. “I still believe in the promise of America, and I still believe in a place called Hope.”

16:20Copy video clip URL End titles: “We Need Your Help / JOIN WITH US / WORK WITH US / WIN WITH US / Make A Contribution Today”

17:11Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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