Bill Clinton plans TV publicity blitz for memoir. He'll do a full hour on ''60 Minutes,'' plus visits to Oprah and the morning shows

By Gary Susman
Updated June 02, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Bill Clinton: Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press/Newscom
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It’s too late for Bill Clinton to serve as a guest judge on ”American Idol,” but he’ll be appearing nearly everywhere else across the TV dial over the next few weeks to promote his memoir, ”My Life.” Taking a page from his wife, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose TV blitz last summer helped turn her autobiography, ”Living History,” into a bestseller, the former president will be making the rounds, starting with June 20’s episode of ”60 Minutes,” which will devote a full hour to a Dan Rather interview with Clinton. On June 22, the day the 957-page book is published, he’ll appear on ”Oprah.” The next morning, he’ll stop by both NBC’s ”Today” and ABC’s ”Good Morning America.”

How did Rather land the coveted ”get” of the first Clinton interview? Maybe it’s because the former president has a long history with ”60 Minutes.” It’s the show where, in 1992, the then-struggling presidential candidate appeared with his wife to address allegations of his marital infidelity. Two seasons ago, in a brief experiment, Clinton debated his 1996 opponent, Bob Dole, in a series of ”point-counterpoint” segments on the CBS show.

Maybe it’s also because, in an unprecedented move, ”60 Minutes” agreed to give Clinton the full show. But he’s worth it, Rather tells USA Today. ”Few presidents have written memoirs themselves, and obviously we want the interview to have as much breadth and depth as possible.” Plus, ”60 Minutes” has served as a headline-grabbing promotional forum this year for such political bestsellers as Richard Clarke’s ”Against All Enemies” and Bob Woodward’s ”Plan of Attack.” ”It’s a platform that serves up one of the more consistent viewerships in television,” Paul Bogaards, spokesman for ”My Life” publisher Knopf, told the Associated Press. With a first printing of 1.5 million copies of the 957-page book to sell, Knopf surely welcomes that kind of help.

My Life

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