Tuesday 12 December 2017

Bubba is The Forgiven One and no tawdry tale will change that

Last week brought more explosive revelations about Bill Clinton's childhood and
sex life. But the 
former president seems impervious to scandal

Hillary and Bill Clinton
Hillary and Bill Clinton
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

The late, great film critic Roger Ebert once complained that the dramatic revelation at the end of so many 1980s and '90s movies was that the central character had been a victim of some kind of child sexual abuse. The "unhappy endings" of films like Nuts with Barbra Streisand were meant to show us that there was what Ebert called "a good reason all along for the central character's messy foibles."

Years after that film came out, Streisand would sing Evergreen at the inauguration of one William Jefferson Clinton, a politician whom America would later damn for his own messy foibles: womanising and then lying about it, mainly. But also the cheesy showboating (can you just picture him biting that bottom lip), the narcissism, the chequered financial history. He was all but hounded from office and the Republican Party took over the reins of America for the better part of the next decade.

But Clinton never really went away. He seemed to remain a part of public life without ever feeling like he had outstayed his welcome (apart from a few nasty moments during the Obama-Hillary primaries).

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