The Flying Clintons

[Classic: July 1996] — I keep catching myself hoping that Bill Clinton will be reelected. It isn’t just that Bob Dole richly deserves to lose; it’s that mere electoral defeat would be an inadequate comeuppance for the Clintons. They are headed for their own Watergate, and it would be a pity to see the drama aborted. I’m only moderately vindictive: I want them hounded out of office, not hounded after they’ve already left.

This is getting good. As I write, Bill’s old pal Bruce Lindsey* has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the latest federal trial of the Arkansas mob. The Republicans want the special prosecutor to investigate three Clinton associates who may have perjured themselves before the Senate Whitewater Committee.

Both Clintons are under fire for the abuse of FBI files, a new scandal that has turned over several interesting rocks and revealed unsuspected dimensions of skullduggery: the thuggish Craig Livingstone, who was in charge of the The Impeachment of Bar... Michael Ostrowski, Jam... Best Price: $11.38 Buy New $11.44 (as of 12:15 EDT - Details) file operation against the Clintons’ enemies, is a character right out of the 1972 Nixon reelection campaign. He also turns out to be close to Hillary, and even helped clean out Vince Foster’s office after his death. The Clintons’ original story of “an innocent bureaucratic mistake” with the files has been exposed as a lie covering up something far more sinister. Every week brings a damaging revelation.

Foster, according to a new book about the Clintons, was Hillary’s closest friend – and her lover. This throws an interesting light on everything else, beginning with Hillary’s amazing operation to take control of his office. The news of his death must have been the shock of her life. She was in Arkansas when it happened, and an innocent observer would think that her first reaction would have been to call her husband; after all, the three of them were old friends. If Foster’s office contained damning material about their Whitewater and Travel Office misdeeds, it would have been in the interest of both spouses to remove it.

But it appears that she didn’t call Bill in her hour of crisis. She immediately resolved to make sure her people got the records out of that office before anyone else entered it. She spent the night on the phone with her old pal Susan Thomases and her chief of staff, Maggie Williams, both of whom suffered from failing memories when the Whitewater Committee asked about the substance of the calls. Their explanation was that they were exchanging “condolences” with Hillary – in more than a dozen calls, some as brief as a minute or two.

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We may never know the full story of that night. All that is clear is that she was up to no good, and it appears that she chose not to involve Bill or to seek his help. Was she hiding things from him too?

Hustler: The Clinton L... Joseph Sobran Best Price: $2.38 Buy New $39.95 (as of 12:10 EDT - Details) One early result of all these scandals is that Hillary’s image as Bill’s better half – the “ethical” member of the family – is shot. Moreover, there is no love lost between these two. They are like members of a trapeze act who hate each other’s guts, but can’t let go: if one falls, the act is finished.


*Publisher’s Note: Long-time Clinton associate, Bruce Lindsey, is now chairman of the Clinton Foundation.

This is one of 82 essays in Joe Sobran’s collection of his writing on the President Clinton years, titled Hustler: The Clinton Legacy, which FGF Books hopes to republish soon.