Rich Lowry

Clinton's office released a wounded memo responding to the Purdum piece, complaining -- among other things -- that the journalist didn't talk to "two Nobel Prize winners who have praised the President's foundation." Please. These Nobel Prize winners aren't hanging out with Clinton late at night and paying him millions. Purdum focuses on Clinton wingmen like the good-time billionaire mogul Ron Burkle, who paid Clinton more than $15 million from 2003 to 2007 for general advice and rainmaking.

African-Americans have bailed on Clinton just like elite journalists. Clinton had a special bond with blacks, which he used as a moral bludgeon. He couched his fight against impeachment as almost a civil-rights struggle, with the Congressional Black Caucus dutifully playing along. Noting Clinton's hardball tactics against Barack Obama, Rep. James Clyburn said, "I think black folks feel strongly that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation." As if Clinton were ever moved by anything deeper than an instinct for self-preservation.

Bill Clinton has always been a man threatened to be swallowed by the yawning maw of his own ego. Even as he has tirelessly stumped the country on behalf of his wife, he's given the impression that it's all about him. His rage at the process -- his temper tantrums at reporters and twisted attempts to make himself always the victim -- speaks to an aggrieved sense of entitlement, that for all his good fortune he's owed even more.

That abiding sense will ensure his post-presidential career continues to be a restless, cringe-making affair. When he comes around to supporting Obama, who can doubt that he'll compare the candidate to himself, in the highest of all possible praise?

Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
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