Bill Clinton, in Full Bloom


The former president’s book, Back to Work; Esquire put him on its cover; and PBS has made him the subject of a a four-hour documentary, Clinton. “We are in the midst,” as Andrew Ferguson explains in the current issue of the Weekly Standard,

of a Clinton revival. After a brief dip during his wife’s presidential campaign, the line of his ascent only steepens, carrying him through showers of rose petals towards halos of light.

Andy’s piece is marvelous–brilliant and hilarious–so be sure to read it in full. But to whet your appetite:

No president has been as ravenous for campaign cash as Bill Clinton….President Clinton attended fundraisers as often as five and six days a week. He turned perks of the presidency into instruments for raising cash; the White House itself was merchandised. Nearly 80 campaign contributors and bundlers, few of them personally friendly with the Clintons, were invited to spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom and the Queen’s Bedroom as a token of the president’s gratitude….

It was impossible at the time, and still is, to disentangle the partisan motives of the congressional Republicans who impeached Bill Clinton from whatever genuine sense of duty they felt to insist that his crimes be formally proved, recorded, and censured. Yet the question is beside the point, for the motives, whatever they were, don’t violate the soundness of the case made against him. An ethics committee of the Arkansas state supreme court, comprising mostly Democrats, came to the same conclusion that congressional Republicans did, and insisted that Clinton be disbarred. The federal judge to whom he lied under oath fined him $90,000, saying “no reasonable person would seriously dispute” that Clinton had given “false, misleading, and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process….”

Before the last bell is rung…a final detail from the Starr investigation deserves a place in the image Americans hold of their 42nd president. 

Late one night in 1995, the president was seeking congressional support for his plan to send American troops to Bosnia. As he took to the phone to lobby Rep. Sonny Callahan of Alabama, he saw that Monica had nothing to do. So he beckoned her over to do the thing he liked best about her.

Being sexually serviced by an intern while discussing the deployment of American soldiers to a war zone isn’t an impeachable offense. But it certainly is an interesting piece of information, isn’t it?

Members have made 22 comments.

  1. Profile photo of EJHill Contributor

    Along with skill, success in politics requires a little luck. Here, in his post-presidency, is Mr. Clinton’s luck found – the failing economy, the ineptitude and the polarizing ways of his Democratic successor, makes even the most conservative Republican a little nostalgic for the Rogue of Little Rock.

    Mr. Obama is a true believing son of the radical left. Mr. Clinton, on the other hand, was a true believer in Mr. Clinton. He would do what was advantageous to himself. And if that intersected in what was best for the country, like welfare reform, we were better off for it.

    • #1
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:02 am
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  2. Profile photo of Mel Foil Inactive

    That can’t be right. I saw him on TV carrying a giant Bible into Church, and he held that giant right hand over his heart when the Star Spangled Banner was played, with a little tear running down his cheek…. That can’t be right.

    • #2
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:03 am
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  3. Profile photo of Bruce in Marin Member

    Bill Clinton was corrupt in familiar, understandable ways. The damage he did to the country was largely moral, and largely concentrated in our conception of the office of the Presidency. They were his failings for the most part.

    The damage Obama does spills over far more into all our lives in both moral and tangible ways. It is wider-spread, and cuts deeper. He corrupts others more than himself.

    I find Obama less personally reprehensible than Clinton, and yet somehow worse as a President.

    • #3
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:21 am
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  4. Profile photo of Casey Member

    Is it fair to say history will judge him as our most ridiculous President?

    • #4
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:23 am
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  5. Profile photo of Leporello Inactive

    His worst offense was forcing us all to read about these sordid matters in the very headlines – and still today on blogs.

    • #5
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:26 am
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  6. Profile photo of Douglas Member

    Bill Clinton was the living embodiment of all the very worst things people think about the Baby Boom generation: Immoral, narcissistic, with a snotty sense of entitlement, yet cloaking this with faux outrage over “injustice” in the world. Clinton was the embodiment of the Woodstock generation with a shiny Potemkin shell to cover the mud from the concert fields, and cologne to cover the smell of the filth and drugs. Underneath, though, remains the same dirty hippy who so joyously flipped off his parents and defiled everything he was taught to be good and just and right.

    • #6
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:34 am
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  7. Profile photo of The King Prawn Member


    But everything is this guy’s fault, right?

    • #7
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:36 am
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  8. Profile photo of Astonishing Inactive

    It was a jurisprudential mistake for the courts to allow the Paula Jones lawsuit to go forward while Clinton was still in office. The suit should have been abated until Clinton left office because a sitting president should not be distracted from his duties by a private civil suit. (Yes, I know, Clinton was distracted in other ways.)

    So Clinton never should have been put under oath in that lawsuit while he was still president. BUT once he was put under oath, he had a duty, just like everyone else, to tell the truth. The impeachable offense was not about sex. The impeachable offense was he lied under oath.

    For the chief executive to violate the rule obliging every citizen to testify truthfully in court was a base attack on our system of law and government. For that high crime, Clinton should have been impeached, removed from office, tried in criminal court, sentenced, and then ignominiously pardoned (only to spare the country the embarrassment of having a sitting president incarcerated).

    Clinton will be remembered only for one thing, and we all know exactly what it will be. (Little else about his terms was exceptional.)

    • #8
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:52 am
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  9. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member
    Casey: Is it fair to say history will judge him as our most ridiculous President? 

    I dunno. He was never attacked by a swamp rabbit.

    • #9
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:53 am
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  10. Profile photo of doc molloy Inactive

    What a monumental ego. He is his own Mt Rushmore.. more jaw than rock hard these days. More viagra than vigour.. He had his moniker on Monica for the troops in Bosnia. Always an eye for the main chance..

    • #10
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:54 am
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  11. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    Will the ’90s never die?


    I dunno. He was never attacked by a swamp rabbit. · 4 minutes ago

    Did You see the size of that killer rabbit? And the fangs… My goodness, the fangs. I was told he was even packing heat.

    • #11
    • February 24, 2012 at 1:59 am
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  12. Profile photo of Fricosis Guy Listener

    First sentence is right on… I never trust pols who are too incorruptible. They remind me of Robespierre.

    Bruce in Marin: Bill Clinton was corrupt in familiar, understandable ways…. I find Obama less personally reprehensible than Clinton, and yet somehow worse as a President. · 33 minutes ago
    • #12
    • February 24, 2012 at 2:00 am
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  13. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    Yasir Arafat was the most frequent official foreign visitor to the White House during those ignominious days. Once he cooled his heels in the Rose Garden as the formal party was delayed by the ministrations of Ms Lewinsky. Wonder if he was jealous or peeved ?

    • #13
    • February 24, 2012 at 2:15 am
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  14. Profile photo of Duane Oyen Member
    The King Prawn

    But everything is this guy’s fault, right? · 45 minutes ago

    The character contrast defies description.

    • #14
    • February 24, 2012 at 2:22 am
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  15. Profile photo of Casey Member

    Why does he drive us so crazy? After all, he really is nothing more than a punchline.

    • #15
    • February 24, 2012 at 2:47 am
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  16. Profile photo of Fricosis Guy Listener

    For all his flaws he is the most talented politician of his generation. 

    Casey: Why does he drive us so crazy? After all, he really is nothing more than a punchline. · 11 minutes ago
    • #16
    • February 24, 2012 at 3:00 am
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  17. Profile photo of Haakon Dahl Inactive

    I saw this in the store yesterday and It just boiled my blood. Yet another magazine cover of Bill Clinton smirking in his “suck it” pose. Sorry, but that’s what it is. And so art imitates life as the sycophantic press (to put it ever so gently) resumes what Bernard Goldberg called their “slobbering love affair” with leftist pols.

    • #17
    • February 24, 2012 at 3:15 am
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  18. Profile photo of HVTs Inactive

    Clinton will be remembered only for one thing, and we all know exactly what it will be. (Little else about his terms was exceptional.)

    Clinton’s “terms” may have been unexceptional, but the point is he remains an adored figure on the Establishment Left, free to serially pontificate and opine as a Grand Statesman. Average is exceptional when you have an emotional IQ as high as his and know how to milk it for every last drop of devotion from the wanna-be Left and journolist crowd. I mean, honestly, if anyone today said Obama is spearheading a vast Left Wing conspiracy he’d be laughed at, pilloried or both. This despite Obama’s open, long term association with Left Wing conspirators. But Bilary throws down on VRWC at the height of the Lewinsky debacle and she’s treated as an oracle. That’s cultural power. It trumps moral power and logic, and has done so since the late 1960s/early 1970s. It’s worth contemplating how this came to be, given the centuries of moral development in the West.

    • #18
    • February 24, 2012 at 3:31 am
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  19. Profile photo of Casey Member

    Clinton’s “terms” may have been unexceptional, but the point is he remains an adored figure on the Establishment Left

    Is he? He seems he drives the Establishment Left crazy too but he’s indispensable.

    • #19
    • February 24, 2012 at 3:40 am
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  20. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor

    These days, when I think of The Great Fornicator, I think of his model in this regard: John Fitzgerald Kennedy — he of sainted memory.

    • #20
    • February 24, 2012 at 5:10 am
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  21. Profile photo of RW Cook Inactive

    His failings seem to be described here as mostly personal. There are many examples beyond personal – two that will stick with us forever: -Kicking the can down the road led to 9/11

    -The multiple disasters of Janet Reno

    Regarding Republican partisanship during the impeachment, I refer to David Schippers book, Sell-Out, where he says not a single senator took the time to come to his office to review the evidence gathered, and one Senator told him, “I don’t care if he killed somebody, I am not going to vote for impeachment!”

    • #21
    • February 24, 2012 at 5:29 am
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  22. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    Professor, was that the shortest lecture of the year ?

    • #22
    • February 24, 2012 at 6:59 am
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