June 2, 2008

"Clinton remains a profoundly solitary man... without any real peers, intellectual equals, or genuine friends...."

Uh oh. It's the big Vanity Fair article on Bill Clinton.
[H]e spends his time veering between feeling sorry for himself and working to help others, between doing good and giving his enemies fresh ammunition, between vindicating his legacy and vitiating it.
Do we care?

ADDED: A song of commiseration for our profoundly solitary man:


Peter Hoh said...


American Liberal Elite said...


AllenS said...

Do we care?

Well, if we're going to spend time discussing Sex and the City, we might as well talk about Bill Clinton, and the fact he might be still ridin' dirty.

Meade said...

Beav related

Meade said...

Oops. Sorry, wrong thread.

George M. Spencer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George M. Spencer said...

Vanity Fair is to rich poseurs as The Enquirer is to the poor.

Actually, it's even more execrable, given its faux-Continental haughtiness and hypocrisy.

The magazine defended Clinton in the '90s and adored Bush after 9/11. Its only loyalty to is Prada.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Peter Hoh (7:24) and cld (7:32)

vet66 said...

Clinton and the pastors at Trinity have at least one pathology in common. Clinton is a voyeur and then compensates by being a poseur. The pastors at Trinity organize, practice, and present race-baiting sermons then apologize in the face of you-tube blowback from non-congregants.

This sorry group reminds me of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. It is beginning to make sense that many people in these communities knew what was going on and said nothing. Did they really believe they could hide this from the gun loving, immigrant hating, religious clinging cave dwellers during an election campaign?

These people are either clueless beyond mere arrogance or a new class of progressive facsists who just don't care.

rhhardin said...

``Spends his time reading New Yorker length essays'' would be more worrisome.

Not having intellectual equals is a bummer.

Unknown said...


I'm Full of Soup said...

"not having intellectual equals" - MSM stills kisses Clinton's butt.

Einstein and some of the commenters here may have trouble finding intellectual equals (I am not kidding -there is some serious brainpower on this blog including the hostess) but Clinton? He is a great pol but has he ever had a truly brilliant idea that did not involve winning an election?

rcocean said...

"He has not a creative bone in his body...He's a bore,and will always be a bore."

Roger J. said...

I wondered what talent pool that Clinton's intellectual talent was being campared against--perhaps it was the editorial staff of VF. Other than that, count me as one of the numerous "no" voters.

Chip Ahoy said...

I always felt a connection with Clinton because he likes to do NYT crosswords, so in my world that makes him not 100% of bad. Plus, we always knew he was a scamp but we elected him anyway. Whatever followed from that was expected since we went into the thing with eyes open. I'll not forgive the Republicans for forcing him to lie in a way most any man would. From my view it was the Republicans that forced the Democrats to become as monstrous as they perceived the Republicans to be. They used to be nearly lovely before all that. This is why I could do without both these mean-spirited parties, they set us against one another unnaturally. Harken ye, back to your founding father's touching and insightful farewell address wherein he warns against and rues about this very thing.

Political dynastic families, are a whole 'nuther issue.

Trooper York said...

Marty: I've been looking for a girl every Saturday night of my life.
(Marty, 1955)

Trooper York said...

Jack Jericho: Did anyone ever tell you that you have the face of a Botticelli and the body of a Degas?
(The Pick-up Artist, 1987)

Jeff Vaca said...

I haven't read the article, but I imagine that if you replaced "Bill Clinton" with "Richard Nixon," the same article could have appeared 30 years ago.

Trooper York said...

What! Nixon got laid that much! Right on Tricky Dick!

KCFleming said...

"...without any real peers, intellectual equals, or genuine friends...."
It's hard for narcissists to keep any friends for very long. They're fascinating at first, when that penumbra of charm emanates and their glow envelopes you. But betrayal is one of their favorite weapons, which limits the duration of many a friendship.

They're really a kind of vampire, and they suck you dry emotionally.
Bill Clinton, daywalker.

rhhardin said...

Clinton's appeal has always been as the American mock hero, the rogue.

PatCA said...

No, I don't really care. I think though this writer just plugged him into the alienation narrative and went from there. I think Bill is having a grand time with his millions and his hangers on.

Some day I'd like to see a real expose about these foundations that politicians and rock stars fund in order to shelter their income. The Clinton Library and the Clinton Foundation have been handy to keep the brand out there for Hill/Bill and to spread around payola to their supporters.

His most pressing concern: If Hillary loses, what will that do to their market value?

Roman said...

Is it really not having intellectual equals, or just thinking that no one could possibly be your equal? I think it is the later.

Henry said...

And I thought you were going to post this:


William said...

It is not how you play the game; it is how you play the crowd that watches the game. His intellect and political skills were of a piece with his saxophone playing skills: Competent enough but the real genius was in how he puffed it. You can say he was abetted by the media but that begs the question. How, for example, was he able to get militant feminists to defend his sexual predations? The mystery of Bill Clinton lies not in his vices and contradictions but in our attraction to those vices and contradictions.

Peter V. Bella said...

Clinton never had any morals, ethics, or values. he only had raw naked ambition to succed. He is a total wastrel. Just think, whit all of his scholarships and college aid, he took the place of some other poor kid who could have really contributed something to society other than fodder for gossip.

The American public was deluded by Clinton for eight years and some are being deluded by his wife. These people are nothing more than border line criminals and grifters.

Anonymous said...

I have to put this carefully, but I had lunch the other day with someone who was fairly close to several people very high in the Democratic Party leadership under Bill Clinton. This person was always a big Clinton supporter, and I remember past disagreements we've had about my distaste for Bill's philandering.

This same person now dislikes Hillary, wishes both of them would just go away, is saying the same things I used to about Bill being a slimeball, and is muttering darkly about Hillary's political future if she continues down the path she's on.

So you thought the Clintons presided over a vast, left-wing conspiracy, eh?

More like a conspiracy of what have you done for me lately?

Anonymous said...

Nah. I agree with Peter Hoh (7:24) and cld (7:32).

paul a'barge said...

here are the lyrics so you can read along while Neil sings.

paul a'barge said...

I had lunch the other day with someone who was fairly close to several people very high in the Democratic Party leadership under Bill Clinton


Doesn't that make you six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon?

Trooper York said...

I thought only Titus goes to lunch with Barney Frank. Very impressive.

former law student said...

Sounds like he doesn't want any real peers, intellectual equals, or genuine friends -- at least not male ones.

First of all, he's a ladies' man, which I suspect traces back to when he was a mama's boy. Most men are not going to feel comfortable around him, whether from envy or philogyny doesn't matter.
Second, he's shallow. Running with a fast crowd suits his personality to a T. Finally, why does not Purdum think that none of these younger women are Clinton's intellectual equals or genuine friends? Is cross-gender friendship impossible?

KCFleming said...

Harry: You realise of course that we can never be friends.

Sally: Why not?

Harry: What I'm saying... is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That's not true.

Harry: No man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.

Sally: What if they don't want to have sex with you?

Harry: Doesn't matter, because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.

Sally: Well I guess we're not going to be friends then.

Harry: Guess not.

Sally: That's too bad. You are the only person I knew in New York

Trooper York said...

Sally: The children are starving. Can’t you help?
Harry: The buck stops here.
Sally: But you can give just a little. Twenty five cents will keep a child alive for six months in Africa or until Madonna adopts them, whatever comes first.
Harry: I told you. The buck stops here. I’m just cheap.
(When Sally Struthers met Harry Truman, 2008)

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that make you six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon?

Perhaps, but it really wasn't about that or me. I just thought a little first-person reportage might be interesting. Ha! Should have stuck to snark and crap I get from other blogs.

My point was that even people whose families have been large Democratic Party contributors, and who have been fairly serious Clinton supporters are abandoning Hillary. I don't know what her campaign finances are like at this point, but my dinner with André pointed to some unpleasantness in that department.

Actually, as a lukewarm Hillary supporter, this was one more slightly depressing thing among many slightly depressing things that seem to come my way lately.

And, no, it wasn't Barney Frank. Lunch with him would be amusing, but last time I looked, he was on the receiving end of the money the person I was talking about represented.

But I'm sure Titus will say that it is better to give than receive.

George M. Spencer said...

Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king
And then became one?
Well, except for the names and a few other changes
If you talk about me, the story's the same one.

But I got an emptiness deep inside,
And I've tried but it won't let me go.
And I'm not a man who likes to swear,
But I've never cared for the sound of being alone.

Bill Is, He Said.

Trooper York said...

Harry: Did you know that I used to be President?
Sally: President of what? The bow-tie club.
Harry: No, President of the United States. And if you pull my bow-tie you might get a nice surprise. So what do you say, do you want to tickle my ivories or what?
Sally: Well I never.
Harry: That’s no good. If you will never, can you give me the number for those Gilmore Girls? I love them. They seem very oral.
(When Harry Truman Met Sally Struthers, 2008)

rhhardin said...

Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king
And then became one?

``No magic can change a frog into a Prince - a frog, that is, who had never been a Prince. He can be given a Prince's shape, that is all. He has the self-consciousness of a frog. The frog in him will, I imagine, keep trying to get out. There will be moments of embarrassment when he needs to speak, or when suddenly he tucks his legs underhimself and leaps from the throne. But these moments can be covered over, either with royal explanations or with judicious applications to the court of mass hallucination or blindness - trivial magic by comparison.''

Stanley Cavell The Claim of Reason

ricpic said...

Such a sensitive guy, the head rapist.

George M. Spencer said...

When Bill lifts his face, every ear in the place is on him.

Starting soft and slow like a small earthquake, when he lets go, half the valley shakes.

(At 2:15)

lurker2209 said...

The article seems like an exercise in discovering the maximum number of anonymous Clinton staffers it is possible to cite.

OhioAnne said...

Well I read it, but not because I care about Bill Clinton. I just found it amusing that the author (husband to Dee Dee Myers) wrote a tell-all on Clinton and released it the same week McClellans book on Bush came out.

The most interesting thing in the article was his disclosure that his wife has had very little contact with the Clinton's since she left her White House job.

The rest was a rehash of things discussed many years ago - by people who were paying attention - and some "lifestyles of the rich and famous" gossip.

As long as the man isn't having sex with his employees in the workplace and on company time and demoting them when it becomes inconvenient, I really don't care what he does. If Hillary doesn't care, why should the rest of us?

Steven said...

I've never understood the widespread perception that Bill Clinton is a great politician. He won the presidency twice with less than 50% of the vote each time, and without Ross Perot in the race in 1992, I think it's a better than even bet that Bush would have won. While he was President, the Democrats lost seats at just about every level of government, year after year after year. What exactly is the evidence that he was a great politican?

TMink said...

"I'll not forgive the Republicans for forcing him to lie in a way most any man would."

Please or please tell me that this is sarcasm and not the most spineless and ball broken example of victim worship that I have witnessed in my 49 years.



TMink said...

I do not hate the Clintons.

But what kind of person sees Bill as without intellectual peer? That completely fascinates me.


I'm Full of Soup said...


Maybe a fellow baby boomer MSM liberal who was ecstatic that one of their own finally made it the White House?

knox said...

I thought only Titus goes to lunch with Barney Frank. Very impressive.


knox said...

For a good 16 years or so, we've been essentially browbeaten by the media over how just unbelievably brilliant Bill Clinton is. For a good part of that time, and especially the last several years (until Barack came along, that is) we've also been told that Hillary is a genius in her own right. I guess if you repeat something often enough you think you can make it come true?

vbspurs said...

I read about this last night on LGF. You know what Charles called it?

Vanity Fair's hit piece on Bill Clinton

It sure is. More than you'd think.

You guys know that Todd Purdum, the writer, is the national editor of Vanity Fair magazine, which means he assigned himself to write this article. AND...and...

He's married to DeeDee Myers -- the one-time Clinton press secretary, also a Vanity Fair contributor.

Though I never watched the "Left Wing", those of you who watched West Wing probably know that the relationship between C.J. Cregg and Danny Concannon was modeled on their real-life romance.

So you know what this boils down to.

That it's been a great past week for ex-press secretary hatchet jobs on their former bosses.


Roger J. said...

As Steven points out, Clinton's reputation is hardly supported by electoral facts. His rapidly diminishing adulation from some hard core democrats seems only to stem from the fact that he managed to keep the presidency out of Republican hands for two terms; he governed more like a liberal republican than a democrat in terms of policies (abortion notwithstanding). Perhaps the libs were just impressed because he got a hummer in the oval office.

TitusPapaDontPreach said...

Fellow republicans we don't care so much that we are going to talk and talk and talk about it.

That's how much we don't care.

lurker2209 said...

Strangest piece of information in the article: Jennifer Flowers has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

vbspurs said...

Lurker, I think the Gennifer Flowers thing was high, but nothing can beat the "genitalia-shaped soap" revelation...

vbspurs said...

Finally sat down to read the VF piece, and I'm really stunned by it. Some thoughts:

By page 4, my feelings on the article were cemented. I had read it with both a sense of recognition, and utter bewilderment at what I was reading.

For those of us online, and in constant touch with the blogospheric grapevine, the revelations of his possible affairs are no news.

Who doesn't know about his rumoured dalliances Eleanor Mondale, his "jogging" partner?

(BTW, Mondale's brain cancer, which she thought she had beaten 4 years ago, is back...just an FYI given the news of the day)

I have heard of Bill Clinton's affairs with Canadian billionairess, Belinda Stronach, for YEARS. She is known in Canadian circles quite simply, as "Bill's mistress".

Neither she, nor Gina Gershon, nor that mysterious visitor lady at the Chappaqua mansion when Hillary is not in-residence, are any news.

Since I read international newspapers a lot, I can even tell you that most Americans don't know he has a condo in Ireland, inside a golfing resort. That his pied-a-terre in London is a frequent centre of social activity (touched on in the piece, by citing Tony Blair and his pal, Kevin Spacey -- the Kevin Spacey which just featured prominently in HBO's "Recount", you'll recall). Most Americans don't even know he has residences outside of the USA.

The Burkle/Bing partnership is also not much of news to a lot of people who have followed Bill's post-Office history.

So how is this relevant?

It's relevant because very few ex-Presidents have any Vanity Fair pieces done on their private lives after leaving Office.

There have always been scurrilous rumours about President Bush 41's "girlfriends", but most people in the US would be shocked to see it in print.

Bubba doesn't get that courtesy, and I'm sure many people feel he doesn't deserve the courtesy.

Just this weekend, I read that an opinion piece on why Chris Matthews and Tim Russert are so opposed to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Part of it, posited the author, has to do with being Roman Catholic and not Southern Baptist, like Bill Clinton is. They feel that wrongdoings should be kept private, and not announced to the world in an attempted act of contrition.

When President Clinton went on his famous post-Lewinsky scandal "I'm sorry" tour, this shocked so many of these journalists, and people close to Clinton before.

It was something Jimmy Swaggart would do, not a President of the United States.

I'm not entirely sure I buy that explanation, as it reduces opposition to the Clintons into some kind of disapproving cultural Catholicism, and these are the last people on earth who care about religion.

Instead, I am much more able to buy this line of reasoning, on page 3:

The sensitivity among Clinton’s staff to these questions is such that, after I posed some queries about Clinton’s relationship with Burkle and Co., a spokesman, Jay Carson, e-mailed me this comment: “The ills of the Democratic Party can be seen perfectly in the willingness of fellow Democrats to say bad things about President Clinton. If you ask any Republican about Reagan they will say he still makes the sun rise in the morning, but if you ask Democrats about their only two-term president in 80 years, a man who took the party from the wilderness of loserdom to the White House and created the strongest economy in American history, they’d rather be quoted saying what a reporter wants to hear than protect a strong brand for the party. Republicans look at this behavior and laugh at us.”

He's right. We do.

And that's what kills them -- that one of only three Democrats who got 2 Presidential terms in the 20th century is a laughing-stock, by extension making them and their ideals into laughing-stocks too.

They want to be able to stick it to the Republicans by having someone who not only is ideologically sound, but someone who is an untainted winner.

Being Boomers, they are too young to remember Roosevelt, and forget Wilson, that racist academic with a messianic complex.

They just want a guy they can be proud of in their lifetimes, like we Republicans are unequivocably about Reagan, or Eisenhower.

And Bubba just doesn't do it for them anymore.

If you read the article, you will be staggered at the amount of "ex-Clinton aide", "ex-Clinton supporter" references.

Everyone from the self-same Dee Dee Myers, to Robert Reich, jumped ship to Obama. Most of them did with very little good grace, and some harbour deep loathing towards the Clintons.

I've said it about Reverend Wright and Senator Obama: that part of their saga is Oedipal.

Well, that's also true of Bill Clinton and those who turned against him and Hillary.

At its roots, there is an unfathomable guilt that Democrats have about allowing the Clintons to come into power, only to see their dreams shat on by their very enabling.

The worst thing about it? That come the Denver Convention, we'll see them turn themselves inside-out in even more.

It's chilling to watch this unfold.


J. Cricket said...

Einstein and some of the commenters here may have trouble finding intellectual equals (I am not kidding -there is some serious brainpower on this blog including the hostess) but Clinton?

AJ Lynch still kissing butt.

Asante Samuel said...

Hahahahaha. Think of where the GQ article must have been headed.

Michael in Fort Worth said...

Wait a minute - Bill's been hittin' it with Gina Gershon? OK, NOW, I'm jealous.

Hmmmm....Gina was really hot in that lesbian movie with Jennifer Tilly. You suppose maybe Bill, Gina AND Hillary?

vbspurs said...

You suppose maybe Bill, Gina AND Hillary?

WTF! More like Bill, Gina AND Jennifer --or-- Hillary, Gina AND Jennifer.

I don't think Bill has been near Hillary for conjugal relations going on 2 decades.

PatCA said...

"I've said it about Reverend Wright and Senator Obama: that part of their saga is Oedipal."

I think both parties exemplify a part of the oedipal struggle. The Reps are fathers--sometimes wise, sometimes tyrannical--and the Dems are the eternal adolescents, sometimes refreshingly idealistic, sometimes murderously juvenile. I thought that as I watched the congregants at TUCC in Pfleger's look like adolescents, whooping and cheering as their chief bad boy jeered authority. And now they feel "battered" because they were found out. Arrested development for sure.