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Air Force One's Usual Passenger Enjoys the Ride

July 28, 1997|ELIZABETH SHOGREN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In one of his infrequent talks with reporters on the real Air Force One, President Clinton delivered his verdict on "Air Force One," the summer thriller that is set on his traveling home.

Despite the terrorism, executions, explosions and gunfights, Clinton gave the movie two thumbs up.

"I thought it was very well done," he told reporters traveling with him Saturday night from Reno to Los Angeles.

Clinton said he was impressed with Harrison Ford, who combined the roles of president and action hero. He did not suggest that there was anything preposterous about a president's being competent at physically demanding counter-terrorist techniques.

However, he suggested that some physical characteristics of the plane were inconsistent with the real McCoy.

"Well, as far as I know, there's no escape pod, and I don't think we have quite the arsenal on there and there's no back door," an animated Clinton told reporters. "And I hope that we don't have to deal with that kind of militant nationalism."

The president also took some credit for the casting of the movie, reminding reporters that he was present when Ford was wooing Glenn Close to appear in the film as the vice president.

"I was in the middle of it, brokering the marriage," Clinton said. "I told her I thought she ought to go on the ticket, that she'd be good. She was very good."

Clinton watched the movie at the White House with his chief of staff, Erskine Bowles, while his wife and daughter were out.

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