OPINION | Ken Pittman: Bill Clinton a Bridge Too Far for ‘Me Too’
As he is in any given moment of his life these days, former President Bill Clinton is looking to rake in some money. Right now, he is pushing his book titled The President Is Missing.
On a book tour, an author must do a lot of promotional things, like book signings, photo-ops with the public and sitting for interviews. In one such interview with NBC's Craig Melvin, he finally took off the mask long enough for even his adoring fans to see what he's been hiding for decades.
Here are some rather telling excerpts from the NBC News interview. Anything between the quotes or in parentheses are my own observations.
Melvin: "If you were president now, with everything that is going on with the #MeToo movement, how would you have approached the accusations differently?"
Notice Melvin offers a sympathetic, easy question. He describes the proven affair as "accusations." Clinton still blows the softball offering, which was obviously providing him with an opportunity to make some amends with resentful feminists who bit their tongues in order to support him as loyal Democrats. But the former president's inner sociopathic monsters won the day.
Clinton: "I don't think it would be an issue because people would be using the facts..instead of the imagined facts.....a lot of the facts have been conveniently omitted...to make the story work. I think partly because they got all these serious allegations against the current occupant of the Oval Office (begins to laugh) and his voters don't seem to care. I think I did the right thing..I defended the Constitution."
Melvin: "You think this President has been given a pass. The women who have come forward and have accused him of sexual misconduct?"
Clinton: Oh, well I think that..No. But it hadn't got any coverage like you'd expect.....I like the #MeToo movement. It's way over the -- "
Here, it seemed like Clinton caught himself before finishing and re-directed his thoughts.
Clinton continued: "I think that..it doesn't mean I agree with everything. I still have questions about some of the decisions that have been made."
Melvin: (After reading Monica Lewinsky's statement basically stating that 25 years later, she believes President Clinton preyed on her) "Looking back then to what happened, through the lens of #MeToo now, do you think differently..or feel more responsibility?"
Clinton: "No, I felt terrible then. And I came to grips with it."
Melvin: "Did you ever apologize to her?"
Clinton: "No, yes (huh?), and nobody believes that I got out of that for free. I left the White House $16 million in debt. But you (now pointing at Melvin with both hands) typically, have ignored gaping facts in describing them and I bet you don't even know them. This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me. They were not interested in that. I had a sexual harassment policy when I was Governor in the 80's."
He seemed to believe he was making valid points here.
Clinton, continued: "I had two women as chiefs of staff as governor. Women were over-represented in the Attorney General's office when I was there in the 1970's for their percentage in the Bar. I've had nothing but women leaders in my office since I've left (pointing at Melvin again). You are giving one side and omitting facts."
Melvin: "Mr. President, I'm not trying to present a side..."
Clinton: (interrupting) "No, no, you asked me if I agreed and I don't."
Umm, actually no, he never asked if Clinton agreed.
Melvin (correctly reiterating): "No, I asked if you ever apologized, and you said that you had."
Well, technically, President Clinton answered "no, yes" at 3:04 into the interview.
Clinton: "I have."
Melvin: "You apologized to her...?"
Clinton: "I apologized to the whole world."
An old clip is then aired of then President Clinton publicly apologizing to his family and to Monica Lewinsky and her family.
Melvin: (Now pushing) "But you did not apologize to her."
Clinton: "I have not talked to her."
Melvin: "You don't feel that you owe her an apology?"
Clinton: "No...I do..I've never talked to her, (now smiling) but I did say publicly, on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That's very different."
I presume the last sentence meant different than what Melvin was implying.
Melvin: "And you don't think a private apology is necessary?"
Clinton's co-author, renowned writer James Patterson, jumped in and reminded the interviewer that this event was over 20 years ago, and that JFK and LBJ were all in similar scandals that no one seemed to care about. The interview ended shortly after that.
So he is exactly what sometimes unfair conservatives always said he was: an unrepentant sexual predator. And one steadfast in the philosophy that the Clintons do not have to adhere to the same rules to which everyone else is held.
By the way, its not just Monica Lewinsky that he took advantage of--there are 13 women in total. Let's just stay with a few of the more credible ones.
These four women who I will mention and who have stepped forward to claim sexual misconduct ranging from exposing himself to rape.
Paula Corbin-Jones said that she was a state worker who never met Governor Clinton before that night in May of 1991. She was summoned and escorted to his hotel suite by Clinton's Arkansas State Police security detail. They opened the door to the suite and closed it behind her, remaining outside in the hall.
She agreed to go to Clinton's suite after being asked by police, but was uncertain about what he could possibly want from her. What she found, shockingly, was a pantsless Clinton standing alone in front of a sofa, grinning, with his little soldier at attention, assuming she would pleasure him. Clinton ended up settling out of court, paying her $850,000 in total.
He is accused of sexually assaulting a grieving White House staffer who a week earlier became a widow. Kathleen Willey said he came up behind her, very much uninvited, and grabbed her breasts, spoke into her ear from behind, telling her that he wanted her, and she could feel his erection against her buttocks when he forced her hand onto his crotch.
Juanita Hickey-Broaddrick claims she was forcibly raped in her Arkansas hotel room by then-state Attorney General Bill Clinton in 1978. She said any time she physically or verbally resisted him during the assault, he would bite down on her top lip, threatening to bite it off. When he had finished with the assault, she said he smiled and, while at the door leaving, he's alleged to have told her that she might want to put ice on her lip.
While dodging the draft in England, Bill Clinton attended Oxford University, and he left abruptly before graduating. An English woman named Eileen Wellstone accused him of raping her after meeting her in a pub one night in 1969. Oxford officials would not comment, and his classmates there were not aware of anything of that nature. Wellstone stands by her statement, but declines interviews.
The #MeToo movement goes far in going after men who exploited and preyed on women. Pillars of our society have been swept away into obscurity and courtrooms. Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Senator Al Franken, Matt Lauer and others--people way up high in powerful social circles.
But the #MeToo movement won't go all the way up to the penthouse. President Clinton is where the liberal feminists, writers and reporters all shy away. Conversely, the Black Lives Matter movement has boldy gone back to 1492 and pointed to colonial slave trade hundreds of years before the Unites States was ever conceived, but the #MeToo movement apparently finds 1991 Little Rock too far in the past.
Bill Clinton still gets invited as a superstar Democrat to places like Dubai, Manhattan, Los Angeles, London and also to New Bedford, Massachusetts. A true untouchable, who can laugh at Cosby and Co. and any and all sexual crimes. He can break election laws, stuff his pockets with "Clinton Library donations," hang around with BFF convicted pedophiles and be part of the exclusive "too big to accuse" movement called #MeTooButWhatCanYouDo.
I think the liberal Americans feel that they just can't when it comes to Bill Clinton. The last time Democrats had a chance for a dreamy 'Camelot' in the White House was with the iconic Democrat John F. Kennedy, and his presidency ended in tragedy. I think Camelot II, a.k.a the Clinton White House, allowed for a happy ending to a successful presidency.
At least as they saw it.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RadioKenPittman. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.