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Love Struck in Washington!
on 12 July 2016
Okay - I'll admit I am reading this book about 17 years too late! But, on the plus side, I have been able to pay just 1p plus postage for a pristine hardback copy! Now, up until reading this book my opinion on this story was: Bill Clinton is a selfish, misogynistic womanizer who uses and abuses women and discards them like old tissues. And Monica Lewinsky was a foolish, impressionable, star-struck young girl swept up in dreams of an enduring romance and relationship with the most powerful man in the world. Monica was, always in my view, more sinned against than sinning. And to a degree, I still hold these opinions, but they are now nuanced by this book. Monica was not quite as innocent as I imagined... and in the conversations she reveals, I see there is possibly a sadness about Bill Clinton - and a loneliness in his marriage that may explain at least partly his ongoing sexual incontinence. Monica came to Washington as an intern with eyes on a post-graduate degree after completing the internship. But she did leave behind in Portland, Oregon a rather messy and unfinished relationship
with a married man that had been ongoing for several years. So, Monica = not so innocent! Her low self-esteem connected to her life-long weight problems may go some way toward explaining her attraction to unavailable men, and she also had a difficult relationship with her father, now divorced from her mother. Her relationship with Bill Clinton was not, however, as I had thought, just a laughable sexual fling - but a true friendship with much affection expressed between them. Even when Bill had called off the physical connection, he continued to phone
Monica for late night telephone chats - indicating that he had a need for the comfort of her friendship after stopping the sexual contact. He
comes across in the conversations she reveals as lonely within his marriage - and finding solace and fun in their light-hearted relationship punctuated with laughter, many exchanges of personal gifts, pet names and just simple companionship. At one stage he confesses to Monica of the lies and womanzing he indulged in during his younger years, but claimed to have made a concerted effort to stop after the age of 40 - to save his marriage and protect his daughter. Is this true or not? Who knows? But Clinton is surely a complex man burdened with a
lot of guilt, a loose definition of 'truth' and an uncontrollable sexual appetite. Of course once the affair was exposed, Clinton quickly
showed his true colours as a politician first and foremost, and it was an all-out campaign to save his career at the expense of Monica's reputation. He was certainly able to ditch any of the apparent affection he held for 'Miss Lewinsky' when his career was at stake. So having read the whole sorry saga, I still feel sorry for Monica - silly love-struck girl that she was. But she was largely the author of her own misfortune. And as for Bill, he is still a ruthless womanizer and compromiser of the truth, but I have a little more insight into his character
and the true nature of his friendship with Monica. And just a moment to mention the despicable Linda Tripp. Has there ever been a scummier villain of the piece than this loathsome woman? I think not! Now many years have passed since this book was written, when the scandal was still fresh news. Monica has not married and has no children, something she dearly wanted. Had she not had the misfortune to cross paths with the predatory Mr Clinton, what would her life have been? To have weathered the public trauma she underwent when the scandal blew up, and emerged sane and reasonably successful is a testament to her strength of character. And I wish her well in the years to come.