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Ruth Marcus: Lewinsky Did Hillary Clinton A Favor

Monica Lewinsky is pictured in a photograph by Mark Seliger on VanityFair.com. (Screenshot)
Monica Lewinsky is pictured in a photograph by Mark Seliger on VanityFair.com. (Screenshot)

Vanity Fair magazine has published excerpts of a forthcoming piece by Monica Lewinsky, who had an affair with President Bill Clinton as a White House intern in the ’90s.

Clinton’s lies about the relationship contributed to the House impeaching him in 1998; the Senate acquitted him.

Excerpts of the piece are available on the Vanity Fair website. The preview reads in part:

After 10 years of virtual silence (“So silent, in fact,” she writes, “that the buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out? I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth”), Lewinsky, 40, says it is time to stop “tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”

Columnist Ruth Marcus writes in The Washington Post, “Monica Lewinsky may not have intended it this way, but she just did Hillary Clinton a big favor”:

The Lewinsky affair never really came up in 2008; the subject was too raw and too fraught, and Clinton did not make it to the ugliness of a general election campaign. It’s clear, though, that the subject will not be taboo in 2016. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has already raised the question of whether Democrats in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular, should consort with a “sexual predator” like Bill Clinton. Lewinsky’s account makes clear that her affair with the president was between two consenting adults.

Marcus discusses Lewinsky’s Vanity Fair piece and what the impact could be on the 2016 presidential election, with Here & Now’s Robin Young.


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