Vince Foster

Thinking about Vince Foster’s suicide.

Deputy White House counsel Vince Foster was found dead in Fort Marcy Park off the George Washington Parkway in Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., on July 20, 1993. His death was ruled a suicide by multiple official investigations, but remains a subject of conspiracy theories.

In the process of re-reading the Hillary Clinton Quarterly story about the former First Lady and her involvement with Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, I came across the name of Vince Foster. Also, today, I read an excellent article published on the CNN web site, How to Save a Friend from the Brink. I hope to have more about the CNN article in the near future.

But as I read about things to do and not do to save a friend from committing suicide, I wondered about Hillary and how she must have felt — and might still feel — about the death of her former law partner and friend, Vince Foster. Often enough we read the reactions of friends of suicide victims and learn how they struggle with feelings of guilt for not doing enough and anger that the victim left them with such emptiness and mystery.

Soon after I learned of Foster’s suicide, I wrote in HCQ:

“The tragic death of deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster is a reminder to all of us that public officials and just functionaries hired to get a job done. They are, first of all, people. They have the same fears, dreams, and needs as the rest of us. In the heat of political warfare, it is easy to forget the humanness of those who, for the most part, do their best to serve us.

Foster’s death is a warning, too, that what others do to us, we often do to ourselves. In the dichotomy of being and doing, we are not just what we do. There’s a danger — whether we’re running a business, raising a family, or working in the White House — of becoming so absorbed in doing things, we forget our own humanity. We forget to take care of ourselves, to nurture those emotional and spiritual needs that ultimately make us who we are.”

One of the last things Foster wrote before he shot himself was this: “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport.”

Not much has changed in almost 20 years, has it?

Published by

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.

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