For those of us who may not know Daisy Bates except as a name, an icon if you will, The Civil Rights Movement, would you talk to us about Daisy Bates and her influence and impact on you?$$Oh, God. She was, she was definitely my mentor. The first time I met Daily Bates, I was sixteen years old. And, the way I met her was that I was a junior in high school and I heard that she needed someone to work for her. And, she didn't have the newspaper at this time. She was running a self-help program in a little town called Mitchellville. And, my father drove me down to her office, and I was gonna interview for her help, her clerical help. And, I went in and I saw this woman who I thought was gorgeous and, you know, little petite woman that had such a presence, wonderful presence. And, she said, "Okay, can I help you?" And, I told her I was there to interview for her job that I heard she had. She said, "Okay." She had a little typewriter, manual typewriter and she asked me to type. She gave me a sheet a paper and asked me to type. And, gave me a book, I don't know, a dictionary or something, it wasn't (laughter)--it was something that she just wanted me to type for a few minutes. And, I did. And, then she came back and said, "Okay, it time." So, I gave her the sheet of paper and it was filled with mistakes. And, she said, "Well, you don't fit. You don't fit. But, you should come back. You take typing. You go, go back to school and you take typing, and come back to me next summer." And, I didn't come back to her next summer, but I never forgot that. And, my father had always told us, you know, about the role she had played in the, in the 1957 integration crisis [Little Rock Crisis], so I knew what a great woman she was. So, I never forgot that. At least, I had that opportunity to meet her. So, when I find out that she had open--reopened the newspaper, I had kinda kept up with her, what she was doing and all. But, she was, she's a great woman. She passed a couple of years ago. But, she--I think a lot of people considered her our Civil Rights activist; Little Rocks' and Arkansas' Civil Rights activist. She, she sacrificed a lot to try to make things different for Arkansas. And, you know, there is no telling what she could have done, or what she could have been if she had giving up on Arkansas, but she didn't. And, we have, you know, we're all very, very, grateful to her.$$What did your father [James Kearney] tell you specifically? What do you recall him telling you about Mrs. Bates, and the time in which she was so active?$$Basically, about her, he told us that she was one of the women who, she was a woman--and back in those days my father was definitely a southern Baptist. So, he thought it was great that this woman had taken such a strong stance, and had played such an important role in the whole integration crisis. My father was very outspoken when it came to race relations and integration. So, he, he did talk about the 1957 integration crisis for a long time. He thought it was great the, you know, that we were able to do that in Arkansas, because he always thought we were backwards when it came to the races. We just didn't move forward as fast as we should have. So, he was very proud to have someone like Daisy Bates in Arkansas who made a difference.$What is the difference between a personal diarist to a president and the White House diarist?$$The difference is the White House diarist is a diarist for whoever comes in and everyone that comes in. And, she's more a diarist for the President, not the President, but the White House rather than a President. My job was being diarist to President [Bill] Clinton. To chronicle his presidency. To document what transpired during his presidency. I was brought on for that specific role.$$And, had there ever been a presidential diarist before?$$No. No, this was the first time that a President had hired someone to come on as a personal diarist.$$And, what does a personal diarist do?$$Basically, my job entailed chronicling on a day-to-day basis. Whatever happened in the presidency? What were the issues? What kinds of things were going on? What kinds of meetings were he having? How, I mean, who was coming in to meet with him and what were the issues they were discussing. And, I was also given the leeway to do anecdotal documentation. Things that nobody else would know except that there were somebody sitting there when he--when Chelsea [Clinton] walked in and they danced around the Oval Office. Or, he was complaining about his, you know, something had happened and, you know, it has nothing to do with the presidency. But, this was Bill Clinton saying something that might be of interest to somebody later on.$$Bill Clinton, and then Bill Clinton as the President.$$Yes.$$Well, then does that mean that you--well, how does that work? Literally, how does it work for a personal presidential diarist? Do you get to sit in on all the meetings?$$No. I got to sit in on a great number of meetings. The only meetings that I didn't, that I did not sit in on, on a regular basis, was the Foreign Affairs meetings. I could go into those meetings and I was there up until a certain time and then I left. What they call the top of the meeting. I was there until the top of the meeting was over and then I left.$$And, what is the top of the meeting, describe that?$$That's the press. That's the whole piece that goes to the press. That's when the President is greeting his--the people that are coming in to talk about the, the International issues. And, the press is there and they ask him questions about, you know, what does he think about this issue, and then they ask the visitor, if it's the king of, you know, Egypt or whoever. So, I was there for that and then I'd leave. And, then they really talk about some really top, top secret things that I wouldn't be--$$Cleared for--$$--privy to.$$What about the special events? The social events at the White House?$$I was able to go to most of those. Yes.$$And, those are working sessions or were you there--$$Working sessions. I mean, I was there to observe. I was there in my role. But, I could enjoy them as well. But, I would, when I'd go back either that night or the next day, I would document what happened.$$And, how long were you in that position?$$Until he left. And, actually until after he left. I was in his Transition Office for the six months after, after he left Office.$$And, the Transition Office was Washington [D.C.] or New York?$$Washington.$$Okay, for six months?$$Um-hum.$$Being involved as a personal diarist of a President, what does it feel like? And, something that had never been before, something that this President created?$$It was, it was a very special feeling and, you know, everybody let me know that it was a very special job. I felt very proud that he had chosen me to be his diarist. Because it had to be a person that he felt comfortable with. A person that he felt very confident in. Yeah so, I felt really good about that, and I took my job very seriously.$$Do you know how he came to that decision? I mean, was there a short list of one, or a short list of three or five?$$I have no idea. I know I was not the only person that was on that list. But, I don't know how many people was on the list.$$What did your family say?$$They couldn't believe it. I mean, nobody had heard of the role first of all. After they asked, what is it? They were all very proud, very proud.