October 3, 2002
SUBSTANDARD:The Clinton Standard (Richard Cohen, October 3, 2002, washingtonpost.com)
This quality of Clinton's -- the sheer ability to get out of bed in the morning when you or I would have pulled the covers over our heads -- is indeed one of Clinton's great attributes. Sometimes -- in New Hampshire after Gennifer Flowers or in the White House after Monica Lewinsky -- I could only marvel at his ability to keep going. A lesser man would have quit.
But Clinton is a bad model for other politicians. In the first place, few of them have his charm -- or, in the impeachment era, his enemies. Torricelli was facing an unobjectionable Republican named Doug Forrester and not that Talibanic inquisitor, Ken Starr, and the goon squad that supported him in Congress.
Second, Clinton's offenses were not about job performance but about sex. His critics tried to make abuse of power and perjury the issue, but at heart it was always about sex -- something about which most Democrats, and even a few Republicans, have some knowledge. We all have our secret lives, whether real or fantasy -- and thank God for us that no Ken Starr calls us to account for them.
Where does one even begin?
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 3, 2002 4:47 PM