Monday, June 21, 2004

His Life: So Clinton's $10 million book has arrived. How is it?
The book, which weighs in at more than 950 pages, is sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull — the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history.
Figures. I saw just enough of him yammering on 60 Minutes to remember how transparently phony he is.

More: Turning to content:

Part of the problem, of course, is that Mr. Clinton is concerned, here, with cementing — or establishing — his legacy, while at the same time boosting (or at least not undermining) the political career of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. He does a persuasive job of explicating his more successful initiatives like welfare reform and deficit reduction, but the failure of his health care initiative, overseen by Mrs. Clinton, is quickly glossed over, as is the subsequent focus of his administration on such small-bore initiatives as school uniforms and teenage smoking.
Well, welfare reform was a GOP initiative that a Democrat-run Congress stonewalled for since Reagan's time, and deficit reduction was an incidental part of the boom. (Look at Bob Rubin's contemporary writings. They never expected to balance the budget; it took the Clinton administration completely by surprise.) That leaves a failed Middle East peace plan, a failed medical bureaucracy plan, and some Oval Office skull from a thong-snapping roundheels. I think that legacy will need a bit more work.

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