Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Public Service: Don't care to trundle through 1000 pages of Clintonian sel-aggrandizement and apologia in Bill's My Life? You're in luck. The Weekly Standard has published a Cliff's Notes version. It's detailed enough so that we see him waxing odd, and perhaps honest in spite of himself:
CHAPTER 18: After Yale, Clinton takes a job at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville. He finds the work congenial and makes several lasting friends among his faculty colleagues. A man named Bob Leflar, for instance: One time they were playing a game of touch football, and Clinton was quarterback, and Leflar was being guarded by a 9-year-old boy. So Clinton called a play that Leflar executed perfectly: He "knocked the boy to the ground and ran left. He was wide open." Touchdown! The moral of the story being that Bob Leflar was a Democrat, and "if we had more like him, we'd win more often." Meanwhile, Clinton is engaged in intensive long-distance negotiations with Hillary about their future together. Both of them are uncertain what to do. Once, when Hillary visits Clinton in Fayetteville, it occurs to him that "her lovely but large head seemed to be too big for her body."
But we also run over more of the same old ground:
CHAPTER 16: Clinton returns to Arkansas and prepares for induction into the army, which involves a complicated series of perfectly innocent transactions, and if anybody says different he's a liar. During this period, "I spent most evenings and a lot of days with Betsey Reader, who had been a year ahead of me in school" and was "wise, wistful, and kind." Through another complicated series of innocent transactions, Clinton escapes the draft altogether. Back in Oxford, he again takes up with Martha Saxton. Then he visits Amsterdam "with my artist friend Aimée Gautier." In Amsterdam, "the famous red-light district featured perfectly legal prostitutes sitting on display in their windows," though he doesn't have sexual relations with those women, either.
If Clinton failed to learn a lesson in 8 years, it was the lesson that his oleaginous charm is most effective in short doses. His life, as rewritten by the world VRWC headquarters, almost makes you want to hear more -- but not 1000 pages more, certainly.

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