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Sunday 31 August 2014

Dirt will fly like never before if Hillary runs for White House in 2016

Gerard O'Regan

Published 15/05/2014 | 02:30

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Hillary Clinton has not ruled out a run for the presidency in 2016
Hillary Clinton has not ruled out a run for the presidency in 2016

MONICA Lewinsky, famous ever more for that much documented tryst with President Bill Clinton, resolves that she is ready to "burn the beret and bury the blue dress''. They, of course, are the fashion items cast forever in those images which transfixed American politics – and much of the world – back in 1998.

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A lot of water has flowed under many, many, bridges since those times. The Bill and Monica drama would now be confined to history, were it not for the fact that the Clintons are not quite ready as yet to leave centre stage.

A bid by Hillary Clinton to become the first woman president of the United States looks increasingly inevitable – if only for the fact that she has no competitor of note for the Democratic nomination. Yet the latest foray by Ms Lewinsky into the public domain, by way of a widely reproduced article in an American magazine, is a reminder that another Clinton White House bid will provoke bare-knuckle politics of unprecedented bitterness. A 'stop Hillary at all costs'' campaign will bring a mishmash of all kinds of extremists and weirdos together right across the US.

The venom towards the Clintons has got more toxic with the passing of the years. There are many reasons for this, including Bill's unwillingness to retire completely from public life. For many of his countless enemies – and he has inevitably made many along the way – he radiates the impression of a man who still had unfinished business. They argue that he should let well enough alone.

But of course the person to complete some of Bill's unfinished political business is his wife – although she is capable of attracting a particular kind of visceral hatred.

Conservative America regards her as the much more dangerous of the two and as someone with ominous 'socialist' leanings on issues such as healthcare.

An example of likely dirty tricks to come is that the Lewinsky article has already provoked a reaction from the hardline right-wing TV station Fox News.

It has bizarrely suggested that its publication was all part of a joint plot involving Hillary and Monica. One contributor maintains that the two women were in cahoots regarding the timing of the article.

He suggested that Mrs Clinton wanted it published now in an attempt make the 16-year-old Lewinsky drama 'old news' when she announces her run for the presidency.

Revisiting various 'conspiracies' linked to Hillary's past is inevitable for some of those determined to do down her bid for the most powerful job on the planet. For example, the mysterious suicide of a close friend of the Clintons, Vince Foster, in 1993, will almost certainly be trawled over yet again.

There have been unproven allegations that he and Hillary Clinton were having an affair – and 21 years later there are still many unanswered questions surrounding his death. Foster's body was discovered in Virginia parkland. He had a gun lodged in his right hand and seemingly died from a single gunshot to the head.

The Clintons had known him from their younger days in Arkansas and he had become their personal attorney. He went to work for them in the White House, where he found the machinations of national politics nauseating and frightening.

"I was not meant for the job, or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport,'' was how he ended his suicide note. Conspiracy theorists suggest that on the night of Foster's death, top Clinton aides made a frantic effort to enter and remove documents from his West Wing office. It is alleged some of these papers related to the Whitewater property investment scandal, in which the Clintons became embroiled, when Bill was governor in Arkansas.

Various efforts were made over the years to link the Clintons to alleged wrongdoing, but the charges never stuck. However, 15 others were convicted of over 40 crimes relating to the deal, including Bill's successor as governor, who was removed from office.

All this and more, is likely to come under the microscope again if a Clinton campaign for the White House is announced. Some might say Bill and Hill have had enough of this kind of thing but the lure of being the first-ever woman president of the United States surely gets more powerful by the day.

Despite the Clintons' storied times together, the old hunger to get their hands on the levers of power seems to be still there. The temptation to have one last throw of the dice must be overwhelming for the world's ultimate power couple.

Irish Independent

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