Who is Mayhill Fowler anyway?

She's the Huffington Post Off the Bus blogger who recorded Bill Clinton's three-minute rant about Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum — and who earlier captured Barack Obama's critique of "bitter" small-town Americans. From James Rainey in the LAT:

The 61-year-old, self-described "failed writer" and amateur Web journalist helped create two of the most unexpected moments in the 2008 election so far...

In her first interview on President Clinton's explosion, Fowler attributed her success to persistence, serendipity and an acknowledged flouting of the old rules of mainstream journalism.

"Of course he had no idea I was a journalist," Fowler said by phone from her Oakland, Calif., home, recalling her close encounter with Clinton as a "citizen journalist" for the Huffington Post website. "He just thought we were all average, ordinary Americans who had come out to see him. And, of course, in one sense, that is what I am."

Fowler said she felt empathy for Clinton before and after he shattered the "elegiac" final hours of Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign with his furious statements about the Vanity Fair article and what he called the extreme bias of the news media.

"He is exhausted. It's the end of the road. He realizes it might be his last day campaigning," Fowler said in explaining Clinton's three-minute eruption. "He does not have the impulse control he once had. And, at that time at least, he still could not understand or appreciate why Barack Obama is so popular."

Fowler's audio of the ex-president's sliming of Purdum is here. It's pretty good.

Burkle speaks too: Before the Vanity Fair story broke about his relationship with Clinton, billionaire Ron Burkle spoke for an hour to Patrick Range McDonald of the LA Weekly. The interview appeared today on the weekly's site.

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