Who Is Harry Thomason?
The president has a lot in common with one of his closest friends
By Anne McDermott/CNN
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 11) -- Harry Thomason is one of President Bill Clinton's closest friends, and they have a lot in common.
| Who is Harry Thomason? CNN's Anne McDermott on the president's Hollywood friend (8-11-98)|
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Both men came from small towns in Arkansas and both men made names for themselves.
The Thomasons and the Clintons
Thomason did it in Hollywood, where he and his wife, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, created such hits as "Designing Women."
Thomason knows about people getting upset with his friend Clinton, like the time during his first presidential campaign when allegations of draft dodging erupted, or when Gennifer Flowers came forward to claim a long-term affair with Clinton.
In both instances, Thomason was there, to offer advice and image consultation.
Thomason comes by his spin mastery honestly. He and his wife have had their own battles with the tabloids and they appreciate a president's position.
"When you're in the political realm, you become a public figure, and anything is fair," Thomason said in 1993.
Actually, at the time Thomason was speaking of the Kennedys. Whether he thinks anything is fair these days is not clear.
Take the Monica Lewinsky matter. When that erupted, Thomason came back to the White House to help the president craft his impassioned response when Clinton said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Thomason has been known to stumble. One of those times was the White House travel office scandal, in which Thomason was seen by some as trying to get a piece of the travel business for an aircraft consulting firm in which he had a financial interest.
After that, he seemed to disappear from the White House for awhile -- until the president needed him again, that is.