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Like a boll weevil to a cotton bud

A. Craig Copetas, 18 November 1993

New York Days 
by Willie Morris.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £19.45, September 1993, 0 316 58421 5
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... Bill Clinton – cooing and eager – is arguing that the watermelon is not a parasite. It is New York, America, and the year is 1968 or 1969. We are having cocktails, the Southern gentleman’s expression for raw liquor sprayed with vermouth, at Elaine’s Restaurant, or perhaps it’s the home of Jean Stein, the wealthy and stunningly attractive daughter of the chairman of the board of the Music Corporation of America ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Stirrers Up of Strife, 17 March 2016

... too, Sanders represents something fresh, something younger at heart than either Obama or Hillary Clinton. When you come to think of it, he is as unlike Obama as it is possible for a man of the left to be: passionate, but without any theatrical dimension in his show of passion; angry at economic injustice, but with an anger that rises above the intimation of ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: In Washington, 20 August 1992

... rules of poll, consensus and respectability. On the face of it, adherence to these rules has put Bill Clinton and Al Gore so far in front that further argument – at least about moderation – is at an end. The polls, which a scant month or so ago were giving the White House to Ross Perot, are now awarding it to ‘The New Covenant’ (a slogan so ...

Diary

Sherry Turkle: The Hillary Wars, 22 October 1992

... At the Boston Park Plaza on 2 September, Hillary Clinton is speaking to over 1500 supporters, mostly women, each of whom has paid $250 for a sandwich and a chance to hear her. The Republican National Convention has only just ended, so Clinton gets warm laughter and applause when she thanks Phyllis Schafly, Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan for the attacks that have brought out her defenders in such great numbers ...

A Hard Dog to Keep on the Porch

Christopher Hitchens, 6 June 1996

... to the length of self-slaughter. Most were more sanguine. I don’t especially remember Bill Clinton, perhaps because he was one of the more moderate and conciliatory types. But I remember several of his girlfriends and I remember being impressed at a house that boasted its own duplicator for the production of Vietnam Moratorium leaflets. And ...

The Mother of All Conventions

Edward Luttwak, 19 September 1996

... Iraq’s three Republican Guard divisions had just reached the 36th parallel when Clinton was told that the architect of his ‘family values’ election campaign, Richard Morris, was about to be exposed in the press as the assiduous client of a call-girl, with whom he had shared White House secrets. It was the worst possible kind of scandal for Clinton, given the past stories of his own extra-marital affairs, now more relevant than ever because of his decidedly puritanical electoral stance ...

Obama v. Clinton: A Retrospective

Eliot Weinberger: A Tale of Two Candidates, 3 July 2008

... Obama’s victory to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Erica Jong compared Hillary Clinton’s defeat to watching Joan of Arc burning at the stake. Obama was in St Paul, Minnesota, pointedly in the very arena where the Republicans will hold their convention in September, at times barely audible over the nearly continual cheering of 17,000 fans ...

Hogshit and Chickenshit

Michael Rogin, 1 August 1996

Washington Babylon 
by Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein.
Verso, 316 pp., £31.95, May 1996, 1 85984 092 2
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... William Jefferson (‘Bill’) Clinton is not the man from Hope for nothing. And the major story in the American media this election year recounts his resurrection from the politically dead. Indeed, Clinton’s rise is matched in American history only by the equally spectacular fall of George (‘Desert Storm’) Bush, the collapse that put the Arkansas Governor in the White House in the first place ...

I need money

Christian Lorentzen: Biden Tries Again, 10 September 2020

Yesterday’s Man: The Case against Joe Biden 
by Branko Marcetic.
Verso, 288 pp., £12.99, March, 978 1 83976 028 0
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... cent of the vote. But the pose had been proven to work.‘We’re Eisenhower Republicans here,’ Bill Clinton told Bob Woodward after taking office in 1993. ‘We stand for lower deficits, free trade and the bond market. Isn’t that great?’‘My dad always said you couldn’t blame a guy for being rich,’ Biden writes. ‘I love Bernie, but I’m ...

Not Like the Rest of Us

Linda Colley: The Clinton Succession, 16 August 2007

A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton 
by Carl Bernstein.
Hutchinson, 628 pp., £25, June 2007, 978 0 09 192078 4
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Hillary Clinton: Her Way: The Biography 
by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta.
Murray, 438 pp., £20, June 2007, 978 0 7195 6892 3
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... Hillary Clinton is manifestly a beneficiary and exemplar of a massive, historically recent and still ongoing transformation. ‘I represented a fundamental change in the way women functioned in our society,’ she wrote in Living History (2003); and, at one level, her life has indeed been a succession of hard-won firsts, and of admirable striving against prejudice, condescension and limited expectations ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dodgy Latin, 20 February 2003

... next month: The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders, with Profiles of Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton (Michigan, £21.50). Quite what those two have in common, beyond being the bêtes noires of the American Right, beats me, but there it is. Anyway, the publishers have sent out Jerrold’s own chapter on Saddam as a taster, from which we learn ...

Our Guy

John Barnie: Blair’s Style, 20 January 2011

... Wodehouse takes over. George Mitchell is ‘an immensely shrewd and capable wise oldish bird’; Bill Clinton was ‘a total brick throughout’; Derry Irvine ‘has a brain the size of a melon’. People are ‘of that ilk’ and can be found with ‘their faces grimacing as if a thousand lemons had been forced down their throats’. The queen ‘was ...

After Monica

Edward Luttwak, 1 October 1998

... At the beginning of 1997, when Bill Clinton had just defeated Bob Dole, and his pursuer Kenneth Starr was visibly failing to pierce the Arkansas omertà – two of the Clintons’ companions in sordid deals sat silently in prison rather than testify – the annual State of the Union speech offered the perfect opportunity to reassert the full authority of a twice-elected President ...

Mendacious Flowers

Martin Jay: Clinton Baiting, 29 July 1999

All too Human: A Political Education 
by George Stephanopoulos.
Hutchinson, 456 pp., £17.99, March 1999, 0 09 180063 3
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No One Left to Lie to: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Verso, 122 pp., £12, May 1999, 1 85984 736 6
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... Wilde of ‘The Decay of Lying’ would feel far more at home in the America of William Jefferson Clinton than in that of its most esteemed founding father. For whatever else may be accused of falling into decay these days, public mendacity has surely enjoyed a robust revival. The most memorable quotations from our national leaders are no longer the ...

Degrade and Destroy

David Bromwich, 25 September 2014

... back. Among the culprits are Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, and the triumvirate of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Tony Blair (an honorary American in this context). Wilson promoted the idea of the United States as the country whose mission was to make the world safe for democracy. Truman launched the national security state with ...

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