I thought about adding his name to the title, but really: who else could I be referring to?
I think it’s good to know, comforting even, that Bill Clinton is still shameless, still at the top of his game, still adept at manipulating language for the deception of gullible listeners. So much changes! The Tunnel Tree lies on the forest floor among the great Sequoias, the Great Stone Face has fallen off the mountain, and Jennifer Connelly no longer looks like a Vargas Girl. Yet Bill Clinton goes on, spinning, parsing, obfuscating, lying like the master he is. It’s almost inspiring.
Bill recently showed he was still in playing trim by offering a deceitful defense of his wife’s absurd claim that Hill and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House, telling NBC’s David Gregory that “It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt.” Yup, and here are several other things that are factually true:
- They also had several million dollars worth of assets.
- Being in debt is not the same as being “dead broke” when you have assets to move around, book advances on the way and what you and everybody else knows is massive earning capability and the contacts to exploit them immediately.
- The average person who will never earn a million dollars in a lifetime will probably gasp at being several million dollars in debt, and mistakenly equate it with being “dead broke”—which is Bill’s intention.
- It took a matter of months of paid speeches and nothing else—we’re talking about maybe 72 hours of actual work here, to obliterate all debt and put the Clintons on their way to becoming fabulously rich.
- Since the dawn of mass media, no U.S. President could ever be “dead broke,” because their contacts, name, physical being and reputations are all worth millions wherever they go.
- Bill Clinton knows all of this, and
- He and Hillary were not dead broke.
It is also comforting to know that Bill has passed on his most notable talent to a new generation. In a published interview in May that was resuscitated in June after it was revealed that she was paid $600,000 to be an inexperienced, amateurish on-air correspondent for NBC, Chelsea Clinton said,
“I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents. I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t. That wasn’t the metric of success I wanted in my life.”
Of course, she still needs to practice a bit. For example, who sets out to try to “care about money”? Plausible deceit has to be a little more believable than that. If money meant so little, why did she accept a $600,000 salary she didn’t deserve? Clinton’s adult life has been spent as the child of millionaires: she didn’t have to care about money the way those of us who sweat out every mortgage do.
I’m sure Dad will give her some tips, and if she sticks to it, Chelsea will be able to pull the wool over the eyes of most of the public, and certainly the uncritical media, as deftly as her parents.