The Special Relationship (film)

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The Special Relationship is a 2010 political film, focusing on British Prime Minister Tony Blair's special relationship with U.S. President Bill Clinton. It is the third film in Peter Morgan's informal "Blair trilogy", following from both The Deal (2003) and The Queen (2006).

Never underestimate the politics of friendship. Blair. Clinton.

Bill Clinton[edit]

  • [to Blair] And don't be surprised if you feel completely, totally overwhelmed when you do get into office. Because in all that time out in the road scrambling and fighting to actually get that job. No one briefs you on what to do when you get there.
  • No one briefs you on what to do when you get into office.
  • We build a global consensus throughout our ideals. There's nothing that we can't tackle.
  • [giving a speech] The IRA has claimed responsibility for what is ultimately an outrageous act of cowardice, and no one should ever make the mistake thinking that actions of this kind represent anything equating to patriotism.
  • Everyone has decisions to make in life. Their decision is, are they going to be part of the peace process, or not. I hope the answer will be yes.
  • I am committed to winning this thing.
  • Losing is not an option.
  • Until Milosevic does something, we do nothing.
  • Why don't we step outside for a moment.
  • What kind of a king begs others to do his fighting for him?

Tony Blair[edit]

  • We have learned twice before in this century. Appeasement does not work. If we let an evil dictator range and challenge. We will have to spill infinitely more blood, and treasure to stop him later! This is not a battle for territory! It is a battle for Humanity! It is a just cause!
  • [giving a speech in Chicago] You have seen what was happening in Kosovo can doubt that NATO's military action is justified. And that military action will continue until Milosevic is defeated absolutely. Success is the only exit strategy I am prepared to consider. We are witnessing the beginnings of a new doctrine of international community. Many nations working hand-in-hand, cooperating on issues that confront us all. You are the most powerful country in the world. [Clinton is watching the speech on the TV] Must be difficult occasionally, irritating. The recipient of every demand to be called upon in every crisis. The cry "what's it got to do with us", must be regularly heard on the lips of your people. Yet the nations with the greatest power, have the greatest responsibility. We need you engaged. I say to you: Never fall again for the doctrine of isolationism. The world cannot afford it. And realize that in Britain, you have a friend that will stand with you, and fashion with you the design for a future built on peace and prosperity for all, which is the only dream that makes humanity worth preserving.
  • [to Cherie] No point being here if we don't do things. Big things.
  • [on Clinton] I believe in what he's trying to do. What we can do. Together.
  • I feel I have no option, but to stand by him.
  • This could be the end of me.

Hillary Clinton[edit]

  • [to Blair] No, no, no. Bill's right. Because if you don't do it, other people will do it for you.
  • The best way for us to stop this being personal is to make it political.

Jonathan Powell[edit]

  • Shouldn't we be thinking about taking a step back?
  • Infidelity by a president is one thing. Perjury is quite another.
  • NATO will never commit without Clinton.


Bill Clinton: Mr. Blair, the new dictator of Great Britain.
Tony Blair: Tony please.

Bill Clinton: And don't be surprised if you feel completely, totally overwhelmed when you do get into office. Because in all that time out in the road scrambling and fighting to actually get that job, no one briefs you on what to do when you get there. Though you seem a pretty quick study. I bet your gonna settle in just fine. So we have a few minutes before the press. Did anyone around here tell you to ask about the Moon rock?
Tony Blair: Uh, they did actually.
Bill Clinton: [holds the Moon rock in his hand] 3.6 billion years old. [throws it to him] You know, sometimes when things get stressful around here. I just shut that door, sit on the couch, and hold that rock, and think, "We all just gotta chill a little."

Tony Blair: Suppose you know the awful term "special relationship"?
Bill Clinton: You think this is one of those moments?
Tony Blair: I do actually.

Cherie Blair: You know, Bill Clinton was once asked who was he go to if there was a crisis in the room. He said his wife. Now you'd never say that.
Tony Blair: Yes I would.
Cherie Blair: Rubbish. Whereas their so tight. Such close collaborators. Their effectively running that country together. I think there's something quite romantic about it. Do you know, when he was governor of Arkansaw. The staffers actually referred to them as 'Billary'.
Tony Blair: Billary? [jokingly]What would that make us? Terie.

Bill Clinton: Could I offer one piece of serious advice? If it's not too presumptuous?
Hillary Clinton: Oh, here we go. Tony, can I make a disclaimer here. Please, feel free to ignore him.
Tony Blair: No please, I'd like to hear.
Bill Clinton: Hit the ground running. Now we got off to a bad start, and it's taken us four years to recover. The other thing is to start thinking now about what you want your legacy to be.
Tony Blair: I've been in the office less than a month. You want to work out my legacy?
Hillary Clinton: No, no, no. Bill's right. Because if you don't do it, other people will do it for you. Legacy is reductive. People tend to remember you for one thing. You have to make sure you get ahead and define what that is.

Bill Clinton: Let me just start by saying that it's a real pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Blair here to Washington. Today on the verge of a new century, a new millennium. America is prouder then ever to stand shoulder to shoulder with it's close friend, United Kingdom. It continues a great tradition, and a special relationship between our two countries. [the press begin holding their hands up for questions] Eric!
Eric: Prime Minister, as a friend and as a religious man. I was wondering whether you offered your personal advice to President Clinton during these difficult times of criminal investigation into his sexual behavior?
Tony Blair: That's what in the British media recall helpful questioning. Uh, no. [points to another person] Michael.
Michael: Prime Minister, some people are struck by the warmth of the personal statements of support that you've been giving to the President. Could I ask, had you ever considered that might be a politically risky strategy?
Tony Blair: [pause] You heard the President talking about the special relationship between our two countries, and the great tradition of standing shoulder to shoulder with one another. And I'm reminded of a story from the height of World War II, when Britain desperately needed America's help. It wasn't always certain that they would come to our help, and at one point Harry Hopkins, the emissary to the American President Roosevelt, was sent to Britain. Hopkins said to Churchill, "I suppose you wish to know what I'll be saying to President Roosevelt on my return." Well, he said he would be quoting from a passage from the Bible. "Whither thou goest, I will go. Whither thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people, shall be my people, and thy God, my God. Even to the end." You just asked whether my support, my friendship is a politically risky strategy. I've worked with President Clinton for some nine months. I have found him throughout someone I could trust, someone I could rely upon. Someone I am proud to call, not just a colleague, but a friend, and I happen to think that if you look at the American economy. If you look at the respect with which America has held right around the world today. It's a pretty impressive record for anyone.
Journalist: Mr. President, do you appreciate Mr. Blair's support?
Bill Clinton: [jokingly] No.
[they laugh]
Bill Clinton: I think he should've just come over here and jumped all over me. Thank you.

Tony Blair: Politically, I've really stuck my neck out here.
Bill Clinton: Why don't we step outside for a moment.

Bill Clinton: In you go, Senator!
Hillary Clinton: Oh, Bill, for heaven sake's. [laughs]
Bill Clinton: Just practicing, hon. [to Tony and Cherie] Isn't she something. Only First Lady in US history to win elected office.


External links[edit]