Thursday, January 18, 2018

I did not have sexual relations with that woman...

...Yes you did...

That was the crazy thing I recall about Slick Willy's press conference twenty years ago in what would become known as the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Of course he had sex with her. But he was relying on some sort of bizarre semantics argument over whether or not a oral sex constituted real sex. Last time I fell off the turnip truck it was. So yeah, Slick Willy lied and did so to Congress and earned himself an impeachment.

Today he would be reviled in the #metoo movement. Or would he be? 

I recall being down in NYC for a book singing for my first novel, As Catch Can (now The Innocent). A mega snow storm had struck the east coast and the airports were shut down, which meant a lot of people had to take the Amtrak rail service to their Upstate destinations. Two of these people were Monica Lewinsky and her mother. They sat beside me in the business car and we talked. Talked a lot. But not about Slick Willy. They did however whisper among themselves about how the Clinton's were maligning them. Names like Hillary, Bill, and Linda (as in Linda Tripp) were freely floated, but under their breath. 

How surreal when almost everyone in the car was reading the New York Times, the headline being, "Clinton to Face Impeachment." Or something like that. I was a young novelist barely out of writing school, with my first big contract, and I was having the time of my life. The world was changing as the 21st century loomed large and ominous in the very near future and our President was not only liar, he was a sexual pariah.

I'm reminded of a story a former Indiana school teacher revealed not long before her death of a young up and coming charismatic politician by the name of William Jefferson Clinton who would pull up to her tiny bungalow in his chauffeur driven car. He would have sex with her in her living room while her baby boy slept in the close by bedroom. Then Clinton would simply leave and go about his day. That same young woman would eventually marry the novelist Norman Mailer and she would die tragically of uterine cancer in her middle-age.

Slick Willy is still around though.

He came damn close to being back in the White House, a fixture in the West Wing and that Oval Office where the sexual relations with that woman most definitely went down. Way down. Instead, the Clinton's are finished with politics, many mega donors to the Clinton Foundation having bailed, Hillary reduced to writing books blaming others about why she lost the Presidency to a New York City-based developer/reality TV personality with zero political experience. It must be a bitter chapter in their lives. As bitter as the day twenty years ago when Slick Willy felt he had no choice but to lie to the American public over a BJ he solicited in the Oval. Hey, we all screw up, but that was a doozy.

Can you believe that all happened twenty years ago? It must be hard for you to imagine.
Me too.


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