I had a feeling we would never get rid of him. When watching the inaugural ceremonies in 2001, when Bill Clinton lingered, and lingered, and lingered a bit longer, I knew that not only would he not go away, but that the media wouldn’t let him. This week the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy celebrated its ten year anniversary and the woman who coined the phrase looks poised to return with Bill Clinton to the White House. Considering how reluctant they were to leave it, it is no surprise they are fighting so hard to return. What remains to be seen is whether or not the public is ready for Clinton II.
For those who have forgotten, Bill Clinton made the tackiest of departures.
He sucked up the final moments of his presidency by delivering a 1000 word speech using the words “I” or “me” 56 times and instead of a single goodbye, embarked on a full-fledged goodbye tour. I guess that’s what you do when you are convinced you are a rock star. Jonah Goldberg writing at the time described the way Clinton “tried to deprive the new president the limelight” by quoting Mayor Daley. “In the past, they shook hands, the (former) president went to a helicopter, and that was it. This was different. He had a rally at the airport, a rally in New York and a rally at his home. It was really different, really unusual," Daley said. "That's his style. He wanted two or three more parties." Goldberg went on to quote Bill Clinton from the airport rally: "You see that sign there, 'Please Don't Go'? I left the White House, but I'm still here. We're not going anywhere."
When Bill Clinton said “we’re not going anywhere” he certainly wasn’t kidding and soon the Clintons might just be returning. Consider the current campaign as the reunion tour. The old gang is back together and looking to play for the American people.
In the column quoted above, Jonah Goldberg went into the details of the final days of the Clinton soap opera presidency, including the pardons, the taking of White House belongings, and the deal with the independent counsel admitting he lied in the Lewinsky affair. Goldberg wrote of the presidential saga being over, “I have no doubt that Bill will continue to lie and exert his will to power in an effort to remain the center of the universe, but fortunately for me, I don't have to write about it anymore. I can no longer muster the hate to do it, because he doesn't matter. He is now just an epigram on a dying feeling.” Unfortunately, only act one of the saga was over and Bill Clinton does still matter.