Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ascends the bench with his colleagues today for the start of a new term, just as his memoirs reopening the wounds of his 1991 Senate confirmation battle go on sale.
In a telephone interview Sunday with USA TODAY, Thomas said he wanted to tell a story that was "honest, straightforward and positive" and could speak to people beyond Washington.
"This city is a little different from the rest of the world. It distorts life. It exaggerates what it wants to exaggerate," he said, explaining that he wanted to counter the "untruths" written about him.
"I didn't cause the divisiveness in '91," Thomas said. "I was just nominated." He decries what he views as political gamesmanship over his reputation, saying, "If you want sport, watch football."
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In the interview, Thomas said he found that in giving speeches, students especially were eager to hear of his difficult childhood, which he characterized as an antidote to the "din" of criticism in Washington. "We are allowing ourselves to be governed by cynical people. … I was writing for the rest of us trying to live our lives."
Monday, October 1, 2007
USA Today Interview
A USA Today article about what must have been a short interview: