There’s a new docu-series about Hillary Clinton that will be airing on Hulu soon. One of the topics that comes up in the four-part series is Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. According to the Daily Mail, Bill blames his poor decision making on anxiety:
Asked why he took such a risk with his family, his marriage and his country, Bill said he wasn’t thinking about those things when he cheated.
Instead, the pressures of being in the White House led him to seek a distraction.
‘You feel like you’re staggering around, you’ve been in a 15 round prize fight that was extended to 30 rounds and here’s something that will take your mind off it for a while, that’s what happens.
‘Because there, whatever life – not just me. Everybody’s life has pressures and disappointments, terrors, fears of whatever.
‘Things I did to manage my anxieties for years. I’m a different, totally different person than I was, a lot of that stuff 20 years ago,’ he said…
In the Hulu documentary, Bill said: ‘Maybe it’s just getting older but I hope it was also going through a lot of this. But whatever, what I did was bad but it wasn’t like – how can I think about the most stupid thing I could and do it.
‘It’s not a defense, it’s an explanation. I feel awful’.
He specifically feels terrible about what happened to Monica:
‘I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life was defined by it, unfairly I think.
‘Over the years I’ve watched her trying to get a normal life back again, but you’ve got to decide how to define normal’.
There’s one obvious problem with Bill claim that he’s a “totally different person” than he was 20 years. Less than two years ago he was being asked about this same topic while he was on a book tour for the thriller novel he co-wrote with James Patterson. At the time, Bill got angry when he was asked and went on a long tangent about his record promoting women in Arkansas. Here’s how Erin Gloria Ryan at the Daily Beast described it at the time:
Instead of remorse, Clinton offered a brand of sleazy obfuscation that has come to personify the gaudy detachment political elites still have from the moment in which we live.
There was the self-pity (“I left the White House $16 million in debt”), the argumentum ad populum (“Two-thirds of the American people sided with me”), and the clever, vague distractions (“you typically have ignored gaping facts in describing this”). There was even the misdirection. “I’ve apologized to everybody in the world,” he said when asked whether he’d expressed sorrow to Monica Lewinsky…
But above all, there was the moral preening that, when distilled to its purest form, is just a ham-fisted attempt to avoid taking responsibility. How could he, Bill Clinton, have been bad to Monica Lewinsky if he, Bill Clinton, had been so good for women elsewhere?
In that same interview, Bill was also explicit about not owing Monica an apology:
“I asked if you’d ever apologized and you said you had,” NBC News’ Craig Melvin said.
“I have,” Clinton said adding, “I apologized to everybody in the world.”
“But you didn’t apologize to her,” Melvin asked.
“I haven’t talked to her,” Clinton said.
“Do you feel that you owe her an apology?” Melvin asked.
“No…I do…I, I do not…I have never talked to her, but I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry,” Clinton fumbled. “That’s very different,” Clinton added with a big grin. “The apology was public.”
“And you don’t think a private apology was owed?” Melvin asked.
At that point, James Patterson stepped in to defend the former president, “I think this thing has been—It’s 20 years ago. Come on. Let’s talk about JFK. Let’s talk about LBJ. Stop already.”
One of two things are true. Either Bill is really different than he was 20 years ago in which case it’s very hard to explain why he sounded so angry and unapologetic in June of 2018. The other possibility is that Bill learned from the blowback he got in 2018 that his defensive, ‘I’m the real victim’ attitude didn’t go over well and this newfound regret is purely for public consumption. I’m pretty sure which one is true but I’m sure some people will continue to believe the best about this creep.
Speaking of which, do the credible allegation of rape against Bill Clinton get a mention in the new Hillary series? I’m going to guess the answer is no. I wonder if the producers agreed ahead of time not to mention it or if they just decided on their own to leave it out.