10 Years After, or A Tale of Two Ex-Presidencies
22nd Amendment Overturned; "Tanned, Rested, Ready" Clinton Vows Run
Less than two hours after the Florida vote, one of the measure's chief supporters, former President Bill Clinton, announced his intention to run for a third term in 2012.
"I am tanned, rested, and ready," the 64-year-old Clinton joked to a gathering of reporters in a Senate hearing room yesterday afternoon. "They don't call me the Comeback Kid for nothing."
Clinton, the second of two U.S. presidents to be impeached, has seen his stature rise steadily since he left office in 2001 with high job-approval ratings but low public regard for his personal behavior. After the 2002 elections, when Democrats regained large majorities in both houses of Congress, President George W. Bush unexpectedly appointed his predecessor ambassador to Ireland, saying, "I stand in recognizance of his diplomatical skills." The White House insisted the move was a gesture of bipartisanship; Democrats claimed Bush wanted to get Clinton out of the country so he couldn't raise funds for his party for the 2004 presidential race. To the surprise of even his closest associates, the former president accepted the job.
He stayed in the post two years, until Bush--his administration weakened by the death of Vice President Dick Cheney six weeks after their inauguration and dogged by a recession, a savings-and-loan scandal, inner-city riots in the summer of 2003, challenges by fellow Republican John McCain and independent candidate Jesse Ventura, and the appearance on the Internet of a photo of a nude, 37-year-old Bush dancing atop a bar--was defeated by Democrat Bob Kerrey of Nebraska.
After his ambassadorship, Clinton served short-lived, controversial stints as president of the NAACP and of the National Organization for Women, during which he broke both groups' records for fund-raising, and high-profile turns as co-chair of Habitat for Humanity and national spokesperson for VH1's Save the Music. When his wife, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, died in a charter-plane crash two years ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo picked the former president, who was then serving as president of Yale University, to finish her term. "He never sleeps," Clinton's daughter, U.S. Rep. Chelsea Clinton (D-Calif.), said in a Vanity Fair interview last year about her father's busy "retirement."
Clinton told reporters yesterday that talk of a running mate for his 2012 campaign would be "premature," then mentioned that he'd had breakfast that morning with his former vice president, Al Gore. Gore--whose memoir, Inventing My Soul, is the current selection in TV talk-show host Oprah Winfrey's on-air book club . . .
Clinton Tells Oprah: I Had Intern Threesomes
CHICAGO--In the wake of his announcement on MSNBCNN's Larry King Live earlier this week that he had become a "born again" Christian, former President Bill Clinton is offering further personal revelations in an effort "to purge my soul and enable myself to ascend to the kingdom of heaven."
In an edition of Oprah Winfrey's daytime talk show that will be aired in most major markets today, Clinton--who recently left his job as a DreamWorks Television executive by what a studio spokesperson characterized as "mutual agreement"--revealed that not only did he cavort with "that woman," former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but that she was one of "hundreds" of women he had sexual encounters with while in the Oval Office.
"I was a lowdown dirty dog, Oprah," Clinton said, echoing one of the television host's favorite terms for philandering men. He claimed his trysts included "starlets, lobbyists, Secret Service agents, secretaries, kitchen staff, tourists I ran into in the East Room, Chelsea's friends, Hillary's friends, Madeline Albright's friends, and interns. Lots and lots of interns. Sometimes two at once."
The 64-year-old Clinton, whose marriage to Vice President Hillary Rodham ended in 2005, was joined on Winfrey's couch by his frequent companion, 27-year-old . . .
Heather Joslyn is managing editor/arts editor of City Paper.
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