It is incredible that the ethical atmosphere of the Clinton White House had sunk to a level whereby the constitutional power of a president to issue a pardon was discussed among Mr. Clinton and his White House staff as just one more perk of office. It was treated in the same vein as: “Who is going to be regional HUD director?” or “Which campaign contributors are staying in the Lincoln Bedroom tonight or flying on Air Force One?”
It is a great mystery how this gifted politician could have had such an enormous lapse of judgment. I attribute it to the fact that the Clintons are terribly self-absorbed. As well, I believe they developed a feeling of invincibility and even arrogance after his impeachment trial, when the Clintons confused their short-term victory with the sense of national exhaustion and disgust that followed the scandal.
If a president can get caught having sex in the Oval Office with an intern and committing perjury about it to a federal grand jury, and still get away with it, what could possibly stop him? Bill Clinton–whose every decision was guided by public opinion polls–interpreted his high job-approval ratings following his impeachment at least as a vote of confidence and more likely as some form of national forgiveness.
Instead of leaving him for his public betrayal, Hillary Clinton exploited her public image of a wronged but loyal spouse to create a new persona for herself and win election to the Senate.
The Clintons are not a couple but a business partnership, not based on love or even greed but on shared ambitions. Everywhere they go, they leave a trail of disappointed, disillusioned friends and staff members to clean up after them. The Clintons’ only loyalty is to their own ambitions.
They belong to no place. Arkansas was just a starting point for Bill Clinton and a place Hillary had to tolerate while nurturing national ambitions. It was their home for a quarter-century, the birthplace of their only child and their political base, but they left the state behind in favor of New York City, a place that can match the scale of their own egos, appetites and ambitions.
n.b. Hamilton Jordan penned this piece and restrained himself from mentioning that both Bill and Hillary chose to allow their brothers to sell pardons. During this period, one of the Rodham brothers was actually living in the White House for an extended period of time, casting doubt on Hillary’s assertion during the Jeremiah Wright contretemps that: “We don’t get to choose our family members, but we do get to choose our pastors.”
Hillary and Bill actively chose to allow their family members to sell pardons.