The Washington Post

A photo Bill Clinton would rather not remember

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House Christmas party Dec. 16, 1996, submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 21, 1998. (Getty Images)

Bill Clinton has had a remarkably successful run since leaving office in 2000. He's more popular than ever among the American public, his Clinton Global Initiative is widely recognized as a force for good in the world, his wife is the clear frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and his daughter is having a child.

Most days, then, are very good ones for Bill Clinton. Today might be an exception, though — since Monica Lewinsky, his one-time mistress and the person who sparked impeachment proceedings against Clinton, has, finally, told her side of the story in a piece for Vanity Fair. “I am determined to have a different ending to my story," Lewinsky told Vanity Fair. "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.”

While the re-emergence of Lewinsky brings back bad memories for the Clinton family even as they try to focus on the future, it's hard to see this tell-all changing how Bill or Hillary Clinton is perceived going forward.  There is no story that has been litigated then re-litigated then re-re-litigated more than this one.  Fix friend — and LA Times political scribe — Mark Z. Barabak got it right when he wrote:

Just don't take seriously any analyses that purport to weigh the political significance of Lewinsky’s emergence and how it may affect Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decision on pursuing a 2016 presidential run. Everything in the world of politics these days — Clinton’s speaking schedule, the pregnancy of her daughter, Chelsea, tidal shifts, unusual solar activity — is measured against the prospects of a Clinton candidacy and what it may, or may not, portend.

The short answer is: Nothing. Or at least nothing that anyone outside a very tightly knit, very closed-lip inner circle is aware of.  It’s like that chestnut — hoary but true — that gets trotted out every four years when the political press corps works itself into similar fits trying to divine a presidential nominee’s pick for vice president: Those who know aren't talking, and those who talk don't know.

What he said.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.



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