A lot in common: Huma and Hillary

A year ago we said Bill Clinton’s affairs were still an issue.

It was just a matter of time, wasn’t it?

First Trump brought it up and today (1/3/2016) one of New Hampshire’s GOP lawmakers brought it up during Hillary’s campaign visit to Derry. Bill Clinton’s affairs are still on the minds of a lot of voters old enough to remember.

Having lived in New Hampshire for 30+ years, I can vouch for the fact that the state’s legislature is much too large, which means too many weird people get to play politics or just generally make asses of themselves in public. That’s what Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien, a GOP legislator from Rockingham did today. She made an ass of herself. Unfortunately, many voters have similar questions about Hillary’s public response to Bill Clinton’s affairs.

CNN reported that “O’Brien’s shouts were inaudible to most in the audience because a chorus of Clinton supporters repeatedly booed her, but after the event, the lawmaker said she was trying to ask the 2016 candidate about her husband’s sexual impropriety decades ago.”

We all knew this day would come and we should expect more circus events like O’Brien’s in the months ahead. The best that can be said is that Hillary knew this was going to come up during the campaign and handled it by shutting down the questioner.

About a year ago I wrote a post for the Hillary Clinton Quarterly about Bill’s affairs and pointed out that our public recollection of the impeachment hearings and his pathetic testimony was not going away. Certainly not during Hillary’s presidential campaign.

To save you the trouble of looking up the story, here is what I wrote:

Bill Clinton’s Affairs are Still an Issue

I wish I could forget about Monica Lewinsky, the stained blue dress, the cigars, and BJs in the White House.

By and large, I was pretty happy with the Clinton Administration. After decades of mental abuse at the hands of Reagan and Bush Sr., it was a relief to have a president that I agreed with on most policy issues. Then there was the Hillary Factor — for me, obviously, another plus.

Then I read today the story of Genarlow Wilson, a young man serving 10 years in prison for having oral sex with a girl when they were teenagers.

According to the AP story, what Wilson did was against Georgia law. They have since changed the law, but at the time he committed the nasty deed, Georgia said it was a felony for teens to have consensual sex.

Now they want to release Wilson, but D.A. David McDade has released a video of Wilson having oral sex with a 15 year-old and intercourse with another teen at a New Year’s Eve party. Some are accusing McDade of distributing child pornography because the participants are underaged.

I am writing about Wilson not just because his case is troubling in its own right; I am bringing this up because it makes me think of Bill Clinton.

Consider this: Georgia sentenced a teen to 10 years in prison for a sexual act that Bill Clinton also committed in the White House. Sure, Monica was not a minor and was a very willing participant. But that’s besides the point. What’s relevant during this presidential season is that other voters will make a similar connection to Bill Clinton every time they read a story like the one about Wilson. And that’s not good news for Hillary.

Like many with my political beliefs, I have tried to forget about all this. “Bad judgment” is how I have excused Bill Clinton’s affairs. Pardoning him that way is easy when you look at his successor, who has shown such bad judgment on so many issues of far greater consequence.

Still, the images of Bill Clinton’s disgraceful behavior in the White House just won’t go away.

The most famous quotation from Bill Clinton’s presidency won’t be about health care, or Bosnia, or Iraq, or the economy. It will be the lie he told a national audience on January 28, 1998, when he said: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”


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Frank Marafiote

Frank started the Hillary Clinton Quarterly in 1992 and has been "keeping up with Hillary" for more than 25 years. Recently retired, he worked in advertising and communications and also taught marketing courses several times a year for a local university.

2 thoughts on “A year ago we said Bill Clinton’s affairs were still an issue.”

  1. I don’t understand why women who support Hilary Clinton think she’s stands with all women & their values? Or see her as a woman who stands on her own two feet and is ready to lead the country? I’m sickened by Hilary as a role model for young people. My idea of a strong sense of womanhood isn’t what I see in Hilary. How can anyone see a woman who has been cheated on repeatedly during a marriage as strong? A strong woman doesn’t stay in a marriage after her husband has disrespected her by cheating on her over & over again? Bill Clinton has continually broken his marriage vows while the whole world watched? Forgiveness is great for a couple committed to working together to overcome infidelity. But come on once twice three times and the faithful person looks like a doormat. Does Hilary have any self respect? A strong sense of self is questioned when the women stays in a dysfunctional relationship? If Hilary Clinton is such a strong powerful women when does she say she deserves a monogamous committed marriage? Is Hilary codependent? I would rather be single than seen as not worthy of a faithful partner. Either that or she has agreed to an open marriage? Women need to question their judgement when supporting a woman for President of the United States, who doesn’t respect herself enough to stand up for herself and the institution of marriage? There’s no shame in a failed marriage when we all know it wasn’t her! Why hasn’t anyone raised this question? If Hilary was my sister I’d tell her she deserves better! Is she capable of standing up for herself? Maybe she won’t stand up for America either?

    1. An excellent comment — you ask questions that many of us have had about their relationship, and of course we wonder what we would do under the same circumstances. It’s impossible to know, isn’t it, what’s really in a person’s heart when they are faced with a marriage like the Clintons’. We do know from the observations of others that Hillary did not just shrug this off. She was quite pissed and rightfully so. But we don’t know how much she felt to blame for his behavior. I can look back at two marriages and objectively it would look like I was the victim — my first wife was an alcoholic (I mean sick with the disease!) and my second wife cheated on me. In both cases I’ve always wondered what my role was in my first wife’s drinking and my second wife’s activities outside of our marriage. If Hillary felt at all to blame, it’s possible she “cut him some slack” because she felt guilty in some way. We also cannot discount the very real possibility that she loves him, understands behavior in ways that others do not, and would rather go through those humiliating affairs than live without him. Of course, that’s all speculation. You ask how many times a partner should put up with that behavior — once, twice, three times, never? Great point, but wouldn’t you agree that different people have different answers to that question?

      Making Hillary responsible for “defending” marriage I don’t think is fair. This is about her personal life, not public policy. When the two coincide how wonderful, but it rarely does. Most people are hypocrites to some degree. One of the things that annoys me about Susan Sarandon is that if she really wanted a “revolution” she would give away her money and stop living like a Hollywood queen.

      My last hypothesis about Hillary and her reaction to the affairs is that she in fact saw “the cause” of liberalism as being more important than her personal needs and her relationship with Bill. In other words, she was willing to put up with the cheating if it meant staying true to her policy and political goals. You presume that she won’t “stand up for America” because she didn’t leave her husband. I think it’s possible that she didn’t leave precisely because she was standing up for America — at least the progressive, Democratic America that she and her husband believed in.

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