The Corner

Is Character Destiny?

Todd S. Purdum’s assessment of Bill Clinton’s post-presidency in Vanity Fair is an interesting look into the full flowering of Clinton’s character unfettered by the demands of office or fiscal constraints. The fact that he has fallen in with questionable types is no surprise; he has simply traded low-rent shady operators for the more wealthy variety. This points to something the article failed to go into, namely the proliferation of rumors and trial balloons in the closing days of the Clinton presidency as to the nature of his post-White House career. He was to be offered partnerships at high end law firms or investment banks, maybe serve as president of the MPAA or of a college or university, sit on select corporate boards — like any other former chief executive — but somehow none of that materialized. Maybe at the end of the day the established and respectable firms concluded that the potential liabilities of partnering with Bill Clinton outweighed the benefits. Clinton claims that the offers simply poured in and he turned them down. But consider the source.


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