The two-time Pulitzer Prizer winner Don Van Natta Jr. joins the show. Don is a hard-assed investigative reporter and so, naturally, we talk about the time he went golfing with President Clinton. Don wrote a piece about Clinton's golf game that Clinton loathed—it might have been the story the president hated most during his eight years in office. After he left DC, Clinton agreed to play a round of golf with Don for his book, First Off The Tee, which became a best seller. Today's episode is the story of that round.
I loved the idea of Don's book: a look at the men who rule the world from the vantage point of the game that ruins their days. The episode is all about how Don's round might just be the best insight we've seen of Bill Clinton and his character and personality, and how golf can reveal any person's essence, including our current president's.
I've known Don for eight years. He's a senior writer at ESPN.com and host of the documentary series Backstory, which investigates major sports stories from the past and reveals something you didn't know about them. There's a lot in today's episode I didn't know, so please give it a listen.
In the episode we talk about JFK's effortless swing. Please see it for yourself.
We also talk about a fantastic biography, What It Takes, which is aside from Don's account the best insight into presidential aspiration I've read. Don and I both love What It Takes, and if you get it I ask only that you not be daunted by its page count. You'll fly through it.