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by Dale Connelly, 12/17/99

DC: We're visiting with Constance Nile, a political consultant who works in a growing area of specialization - advising politicians who have scandal problems. Thanks for agreeing to come in, Ms. Nile.

Nile: Agreement? I don't recall signing an agreement.

DC: It was more of an arrangement than an agreement.

Nile: I would have to see that paper and have my lawyers review it before I could comment further.

DC: That's not necessary. I don't even think it's on paper.

Nile: I don't see how I can be held accountable for that.

DC: And nobody wants to hold you accountable, as long as you're here anyway. So thanks.

Nile: You're welcome.

DC: You work exclusively with politicians dogged by scandal?

Nile: Yes I do.

DC: And what advice do you typically give them?

Nile: You'll have to be more specific. Advice about what?

DC: Ok, for instance ... I understand you're working now with a member of congress accused of marital infidelity. What specific advice ...

Nile: That's confidential. I can't discuss my private consultations between myself and my clients, especially concerning topics still in litigation.

DC: In general then ... what do you ...?

Nile: I can't speak in generalities. Generalities are generally not true. You'll have to be more specific.

DC: O.K. Specifically, are you telling this person to be available to the press and answer all questions, or are there areas where ...?

Nile: I couldn't possibly answer that. It's privileged information. Too specific.

DC: But when I get more general ... you say that's meaningless and you won't answer.

Nile: That's painting it rather broadly, don't you think? I'm sure that doesn't happen EVERY time.

DC: But you TOLD me to be more specific.

Nile: I said that?

DC: And then when I get specific, you say it's TOO specific.

Nile: I don't have any recollection of saying that.

DC: You just said it!

Nile: Do you have it written down somewhere? Is it recorded?

DC: Not really.

Nile: It's possible I may have, but I don't remember the exact incident you refer to. I'm in dozens of meetings every day. I can't be held accountable for every single word I utter.

DC: It was seconds ago!

Nile: Am I supposed to take your word for this? I'm a very busy person.

DC: I know, but you just said it! Just now!

Nile: We could sit here and quibble about details, or we could get on with the business the American people want us to do. I don't know about you, but I've got a job and I mean to do it.

DC: Oh, I see what you're doing here! Rather than telling me about your techniques, you're showing me what you do.

Nile: I'm simply trying to answer your questions as best I can.

DC: Very clever. Shrewd.

Nile: (pause) Am I supposed to respond to that?

DC: No. You make me think of the Kathy Bates character in "Primary Colors." Not as raw, but savvy and a bit ruthless. Have you seen it? Or read the book?

Nile: I don't have any memory of seeing a movie by that name, or reading the book.

DC: Are you saying you haven't seen it?

Nile: I'm saying I have no recollection. There are a lot of movies out there. I may have seen it. I don't know.

DC: Well if you haven't seen it, you should. You'd like it.

Nile: Whether I should or shouldn't have seen it ... really, I can't comment further.

DC: Political consultant Constance Nile, specializing in advice to politicians who are in scandal trouble ... and I imagine you confer with them especially when they're about to offer testimony to a grand jury or some such thing.

Nile: I'm always talking to my clients, mostly about things they don't know and can't remember. So I can't say much about what we say or don't say, although sometimes we don't say anything at all.

DC: Thank you for coming in.

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