It was not my intention to read a play about Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton this go-round, but these things happen. What I found surprising about the work is that it was written before the 2016 election. It is a monologue of the 42nd President giving a speech to a public audience. These are not meant to be private thoughts, these are the thoughts that he is choosing to share.
And overshare. Clinton was one for oversharing, at least as far as Presidents go.
Three years ago, the Slate podcast Slow Burn revisited the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal. It was revelatory, it was eye-opening. It was shame inducing. Shame because yes, we defended him. Yes, we said his personal life was none of our business. Yes, because it was a Republican staged sham and entirely unfair.
Because this play is told from his perspective, he cleverly acknowledges the scandal, and more than cleverly he dismisses it. He has always missed his momma. And Monica was a flirt. And he was the most powerful man on earth.
Did you know there is a statue of Bill Clinton in Pristina, Kosovo? Now you do and so do I.
This Bill Clinton comes to lament the decisions he’s made, but only insofar as it relates to a greater peace, and domestic surveillance. He says nothing of damaging the social safety net, encouraging the prison-industrial complex, or again, what he refers to as “his love life.”
His love for his wife appears genuine, and he truly believes she will be elected in November 2016. But then, we all did.
Who should I read tomorrow?