"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Speaking with NBC’s David Gregory during an interview that will run in full during this Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press,” former President Bill Clinton argued that there is something “unseemly” about former Vice President Dick Cheney’s willingness to criticize President Obama for the chaos and dysfunction that’s still plaguing Iraq.
Asked by Gregory whether he agreed with claims from Cheney and other Republicans that the Obama administration had made the Middle East more unstable and American citizens more unsafe, Clinton emphatically rejected the question’s premise, saying, “If [the second Bush administration] hadn’t gone to war in Iraq none of this would be happening.”
Gregory interrupted, asking Clinton if he believed that the civil, sectarian and regional war occurring in Syria was also the fault of Bush and Cheney. Then, asking a slightly different question (perhaps unintentionally) Gregory wondered whether Clinton believed “there wouldn’t be terrorist actors” if the U.S. hadn’t invaded and occupied Iraq from 2003 to 2011.
“It might be happening in Syria,” Clinton responded, “but what happened in Syria wouldn’t have happened in Iraq.”
Clinton then segued into a criticism of Cheney’s behavior since leaving office, in particular his fondness for taking shots at President Obama on issues related to counterterrorism and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
“Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the [Obama] administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made,” Clinton said. “And I think it’s unseemly.”
Attempting to draw a contrast between the former vice president and his one-time boss, Clinton went on to say that he “give[s] President Bush … a lot of credit for trying to stay out of this debate and letting other people work through it.”
You can watch a preview clip of the interview below, via NBC:
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)