Monday, June 02, 2008

Does Bill Ever Pause to Reflect?

Todd Purdum's long Vanity Fair piece on Bubba reminds me of a cover story in Time mag written about a week after the S.C. primary. The article quoted a "very close friend" of Bill's saying that "Bill's biggest problem is that he is absolutely devoid of self-knowledge." Or words to that effect.

The Comeback Id pulls few punches, but that lack of self-knowledge helps keep the story in play, as Bill feels alternatively puzzled and enraged, nursing hurts that go back two decades. Admittedly, the story starts in a attack-chihuahua mode:
To know Clinton is, sooner or later, to be exasperated by his indiscipline and disappointed by his shortcomings. But through it all, it has been easy enough to retain an enduring admiration—even affection—for a president whose sins against decorum and the dignity of his office seemed venial in contrast to the systemic indifference, incompetence, corruption, and constitutional predations of his successor’s administration. That is, easy enough until now.
This winter, as Clinton moved with seeming abandon to stain his wife’s presidential campaign in the name of saving it, as disclosures about his dubious associates piled up, as his refusal to disclose the names of donors to his presidential library and foundation and his and his wife’s reluctance to release their income-tax returns created crippling and completely avoidable distractions for Hillary Clinton’s own long-suffering ambition, I found myself asking again and again, What’s the matter with him?

and proceeds downward from there. But Bill gets these quotes in under the headline "Purdum is a 'sleazy' 'slimy' 'scumbag' in a Puffington Host post by a damsel named Mayhill Fowler:
".....but I'm telling ya, all it's doing is driving her supporters further and further away-- because they know exactly what it is-- this has been the most rigged press coverage in modern history-- and the guy ought to be ashamed of himself. But he has no shame. It isn't the first dishonest piece he's written about me or her."

"Anytime you read a story that slimes a public figure with anonymous quotes, it oughta make the bells go off in your head. Because anytime somebody uses those things-- he wrote the story in his head in advance, and he just goes around and tries to find some coward to say whatever they want to say, hoping to get some benefit out of it. It didn't bother me. It shouldn't bother you."

"Thank you, Mr. President," I said attempting to end the conversation.

But Clinton continued. "He can't help it," he said. "He still hasn't apologized to me for Whitewater."

I wonder how Bill expresses himself when something REALLY bothers him?!

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