Clinton: a man to be admired and praised

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 30, 2004

Ever met a person loved and just as freely hated? William Jefferson Clinton is just such a man. If I run away in dropping high praise, I’ll confess here I admire him greatly. So go pick your own guy. I selected him.

A few nights ago on &uot;Larry King Live,&uot; I saw and heard Clinton hold his ground on every question. Questions and answers came so easily, maybe from so much practice. He could easily have been born nodding and asking, &uot;Any questions?&uot; He sure can handle them. There were few call-in questions. Guess Larry wanted him to himself. So would I. Since Larry controls questions allowed in, I knew he wasn’t about to let the prize go.

Came the inevitable: &uot;Could you see Hillary running for president?&uot; Long pause. I didn’t think Monica (remember her?) would be mentioned but she was. Answer a bit confusing. I quote, &uot;Because I could&uot; and later, &uot;It was there.&uot;

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As president, I found he was great (but sinful). He left the country in good shape and along came Bush. He was gracious talking about Bush and didn’t crucify him as other Democrats are doing. He approved of some Bush policies but felt he should not have gone into Iraq alone. So do I.

As to his affair with Monica, it got Big Bill one month on the White House couch at night. He was lucky it wasn’t a divorce instead. He spoke little of daughter Chelsea but said she has a boyfriend, Ian. He likes Ian. They did get back to Hillary too. When he left law school, one professor told her not to join him in Arkansas. Looks like she didn’t listen. Arkansas loved him. He was their governor four times, a total of 16 years. He did something right to be elected so many times.

Meanwhile, what of Monica? Let’s hear from her. She is in England. She rushed out to greet the press. She downgraded Big Bill, who said he did it because he could. No way, says Monica. She insists he did it because he wanted to and that they had a &uot;thing.&uot; She didn’t say what the &uot;thing&uot; was but it seemed to be one a married man wouldn’t want to be caught in. Worth it? No one asked. I would have but I’m nosey and like the sinful Bill.

More about the penitent Clinton. A month’s isolation wouldn’t be sufficient if I were the one designating his punishment. He would long remember it and I like the sinful rascal.

He’s a complicated man to understand. He’s brilliant and has a speech delivery that could, as my mother would have said, &uot;charm the birds out of the trees.&uot; She would also have said that he would make the &uot;holiest&uot; of the holy sin and enjoy it. Blame my mother at this point, not me. But be warned, she was great with words. You’d lose any argument.

This is an intelligent man. He is a Rhodes Scholar and a Yale law school grad. He must have some Irish somewhere because as they say in Ireland, he has the gift – a silver tongue. He left a surplus leaving office but that soon was depleted by you-know-who. He circled Starr and came out a winner. His presidential library is schedule to be an extraordinary one when finished. If he can behave himself, maybe he will be remembered as a good president who loved and charmed the ladies. Better steer clear of Monica, not only because of her ready couch but because she looks as though she’d have a mean right and not hesitate to use it.

Don’t mar the pretty face, Monica, even though he deserves it.

Florence Arena is a regular News-Herald columnist.