Lewinsky emerges: “My boss took advantage of me”

posted at 12:41 pm on May 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Is it 2016 already? If Hillary Clinton decides to run again for President, we can expect that everything old will be new again, including the Clinton White House scandals. Perhaps that’s why Monica Lewinsky has chosen now to re-emerge on her own in an interview with Vanity Fair, in order to “find a give a purpose to her past.” She accuses all sides of taking advantage of her, but particularly her boss — although perhaps not in the way one would expect:

Maintaining that her affair with Clinton was one between two consenting adults, Lewinsky writes that it was the public humiliation she suffered in the wake of the scandal that permanently altered the direction of her life: “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”

Lewinsky claims that the September 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi inspired her decision to come forward and assist others who have been bullied on the Internet. “[T]hanks to the Drudge Report,” she told Vanity Fair, “I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.” She wants to dedicate her public efforts to end “online humiliation and harassment,” which she had to endure largely in silence over the last sixteen years.

However, it’s been almost four years since Clementi’s suicide, while the prospective Clinton candidacy is just months away. Lewinsky has to know that the media will find her no matter whether she’s talking to the press and going public or not. This looks like a very smart and understandable strategy to get ahead of that curve and become a public figure on her terms this time, in contrast to what happened to her when she was barely into her twenties. It’s not as though she’d have much of a choice once Hillary decided to run. If she can help to shine some light on those who are truly bullied and harassed online while she’s at it, all the better.

Still, it should have been unnecessary. Lewinsky notes that all sides played her as a pawn in the aftermath of the exposure of her affair with Bill Clinton, but even at that stage she was a distraction rather than the main issue. The affair came to light because Ken Starr suspected that the White House had been arranging monetary gains for people who refused to cooperate with the larger probe on Whitewater, and Lewinsky had arguably gotten the same treatment. It resulted in the uncovering of Clinton’s perjury in the civil court case, but that was a sideshow too in a probe that had been focused on official abuses of power, which ended up going nowhere.

Of all the Clinton scandals to resurrect in a Hillary candidacy, the Lewinsky affair will be the most tiresome and least relevant of all. Hillary Clinton was an aggrieved party in that scandal, not a player in it. The travel-office scandal might be worth a revisit, but let’s hope that Monica Lewinsky won’t have to engage this forward strategy as a defense for very long.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

I disagree. Hillary doesn’t have to answer for her marriage to Bill. She has to answer for HER OWN ACTIONS. Not only was she complicit in his abuse of women, she was a co-conspirator. Hillary is the “war on woman.” She had her own little war on woman and anyone who challenged the Clinton power structure. Let’s not make her a “victim of her marriage.”

melle1228 on May 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Yep.

Hillary enabled Bill all along – she was fully aware of every one of his victims – and when Monica came along, it’s likely that Hillary simply gave Bill permission to have an affair with her – as long as he agreed to ask and get Monica’s consent first – and not just forcibly take what he wanted, as he usually had done in the past. Monica was a turning point for Bill and Hillary – a new “phase” in their “marriage”.

Pork-Chop on May 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I think it is absurd to think she took advantage of him. That being said, I don’t have an sympathy for her. Clinton was a known dog, and it wasn’t like this was some Romeo/Juliet story. She was a 23 year old twit having an affair with a KNOWN serial adulterer, and when she talked a little too much and got caught– tried to play the victim card.

melle1228 on May 6, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Every negative consequence she has faced is of her doing. True. He, meanwhile, has faced very few negative consequences.

terryannonline on May 6, 2014 at 2:20 PM

The Juanita Broaddrick story has always been more important–so important that the press won’t talk about it. Does it matter if Bill Clinton is a rapist?

BushyGreen on May 6, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Yes.

Monica coming forward now appears to be part of a coordinated effort to divert attention away from Bill Clinton’s long list of actual victims – the most troubling of which is Juanita Broaddrick – and the press is just dutifully doing their part.

Pork-Chop on May 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Fiction can never be better.

Hillary blames the failure of Hillarycare on….wait…”sexism”.

Hillary and Bill conduct an on-going war on women.

Plus, what an ugly scumhag she is, from the inside to the out.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

So what? One can take advantage of someone with more power than them just as easily as one with less power than them. That’s classic golddigger motivation.

tommyboy on May 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Um, I see no evidence she was trying to gold dig him. Did he buy her ONE gift throughout the affair?

terryannonline on May 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Um, I see no evidence she was trying to gold dig him. Did he buy her ONE gift throughout the affair?
terryannonline on May 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Yes he did. And she admitted she had hoped he would leave Hillary for her – that was her objective. In any event, golddiggers are just one of many classic examples where the one with less “power” is the one doing the “taking advantage of”. Who has the most power has never been a prerequisit for taking advantage of someone.

tommyboy on May 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM

terryannonline on May 6, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Irony is a concept the Left is incapable of grasping, as it is born in truth.

SweetSensationalist on May 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM

She didn?t seem to mind the ?humiliation? all those times she appeared on TV, talking about how and why she did Bill.

Typical Liberal Democrat . . . she wanted to ability to tell the world her story without the repercussions that came from most of America, maligning and making sport of her stupidity. Who does she thing she is . . . Lois Lerner?

Monica needs to find that chick that filmed her own abortion, and the both of them should just disappear.

NewyoricanInTheSouth on May 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Wait. She blames Drudge? Still stupid.

Fallon on May 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

For Slick and Killary marriage has a two word meaning:

Spousal immunity.

viking01 on May 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Yes he did. And she admitted she had hoped he would leave Hillary for her – that was her objective. In any event, golddiggers are just one of many classic examples where the one with less “power” is the one doing the “taking advantage of”. Who has the most power has never been a prerequisit for taking advantage of someone.

tommyboy on May 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Well her name and reputation is crap….meanwhile he has faced very few consequences. So if she taking advantage of him she sure got the raw end of the deal.

terryannonline on May 6, 2014 at 2:35 PM

terryannonline on May 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

He bought her a copy of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” Just like he probably did for his first high school conquest in the back of his El Camino.

What a dick. I mean, really.

notropis on May 6, 2014 at 2:36 PM

OT – On the radio, Michelle Obama’s brother is collecting a $4 million payoff payout for getting fired. Nice non-work if you can get it.

Fallon on May 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.

Which is precisely why, pre- and post- Clinton (and during Clinton, except for Clinton) asymmetrical power relationships in the workplace are, by definition, sexual harassment, and usually cause for firing – or worse.

notropis on May 6, 2014 at 2:41 PM

because… bush?

Hieronymus on May 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Well her name and reputation is crap….meanwhile he has faced very few consequences.

HE was the first elected President to be impeached, she suffered nothing as consequential as that. Her name and reputation wasn’t all tham much to begin with.

So if she taking advantage of him she sure got the raw end of the deal.

She made a lot of money with her book and media appearances and got a ton of attention which she studiously courted. I’m sure she got paid for the Vanity Fair interview and if she didn’t like the publicity then why is she injecting herself into the public domain again?

tommyboy on May 6, 2014 at 2:50 PM

If this topic has to return, let me offer 2 Monica jokes.

1. Monica standing in line at the restaurant “21″ to get a table, overheard saying,
“Who do you have to blow to get a table around here?”

2. (my joke) I don’t think Monica Lewinsky was the best choice to be a Jenny Craig spokesperson. She’s not very discriminating about what she puts in her mouth.

*rimshot*

But seriously, folks. Clinton abused her, and now her life is ruined. And the World does keep turning and turning. And Hillary and her “vast right wing conspiracy” and never saying a substantive word against him makes her a part of it. She called Monica a ‘narcissistic loony toon’. She’s in the right ballpark, wrong person.

LashRambo on May 6, 2014 at 2:50 PM

A woman ‘taken advantage of by Slick Willey’…you’re not the 1st one, Monica…not by a long shot!

easyt65 on May 6, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Bill Clinton was a gift to a generation of high-school students that could tell the girls, -”it’s not really having sex”.

slickwillie2001 on May 6, 2014 at 2:57 PM

tommyboy on May 6, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Sorry, Tommyboy.

Clinton laughed his way through an impeachment, knowing that his lefty pals in history departments would make sure that everyone was aware that this was just another symptom of right-wing derangement, and a sign that the rubes in fly-over country just weren’t as sophisticated as Europeans (recall the snooty references to “affaire-d’Lewinski” (like it was some sort of high-class mistress, rather than Billy Boy getting a little sumpin’-sumpin’ from a chubby intern with self-esteem issues, whom he strung along with laughable promises that he would leave Hillary for her, and, when caught, basically called her a liar, and then blamed it on her – which blame, evidently, convinced you.)

He’s now worth tens of millions, and is an “elder statesman,” in part because of his martyr image among the left – “Oh, poor Bill Clinton, having to suffer the slings-and-arrows of ultra-right hate, leading to a totally bogus impeachment, all over a personal matter.”

notropis on May 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

notropis on May 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Sorry I disagree. Clinton knows that since he had no major accomplilshments all history will remember of him is that he was the only elected ever to be impeached. That’s his epitath.

tommyboy on May 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

…you think BJ has changed his stripes?…I don’t!…nothing is getting reported is all.

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2014 at 3:56 PM

I was talking politics and he was arguing how ridiculous the GOP was regarding Clinton. He asked if I thought I should lose my job over an affair should that occur. I Just said, what do you think would happen if I got caught banging a young woman I had hired in my office and then got caught lying about it to my boss?

That shut him up.

jhffmn on May 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Of all the Clinton scandals to resurrect in a Hillary candidacy, the Lewinsky affair will be the most tiresome and least relevant of all. Hillary Clinton was an aggrieved party in that scandal, not a player in it.

No. No. No. No. No.

Dollar Bill Clinton was a serial philanderer (and Lewinsky was just one episode of many, as we all know) because Hillary enabled that crap. Is that what a “strong” does?

Deafdog on May 6, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Why wasn’t Clinton forced to resign for the same reason that Patreus was??? The the law is clear on this and the circumstances are identical.

RedManBlueState on May 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Bill Clinton was a gift to a generation of high-school students that could tell the girls, -”it’s not really having sex”.

slickwillie2001 on May 6, 2014 at 2:57 PM

However, lots of wives never bought it as an excuse….

dentarthurdent on May 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

The timing of this and the media vehicle are greatly suspect.

Is it possible that Monica has been furnished with, erm, living expenses that will cover a significant span of time if she talks now and shuts up for the rest of the run-up to the election?

jangle12 on May 6, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Lance the boil now. By election time, it will be old news not worthy of any note.

catsandbooks on May 6, 2014 at 4:23 PM

How ironic, Monica piling on Bill.

fogw on May 6, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Real talk. Bill has never had to account for his own War on Women. Hillary should have to answer questions about her marriage to a man who serially abused female employees.

libfreeordie on May 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Back in early 1999, NOW issued a press release in which they asked the Clintons to cease and desist from employing the “Nuts and Sluts” strategy to deflect from Bill’s serial adultery. The Clintons ignored it.

Curiously, earlier this year I actually found that 1999 NOW press release on the NOW website, and began citing it here.

NOW has since decided that it’s politically inconvenient for that press release to exist. So it has been magically disappeared from their website in true Goebbels fashion.

Obviously, NOW now has no problem with the past behavior of an enabler of workplace sexual malpractice against women, simply because said enabler belongs to the Correct Political Party.

And that’s your Political Party, so you are also an owner of that same utterly sexist hypocrisy.

A+

Del Dolemonte on May 6, 2014 at 5:09 PM

The woman scorned. She was in it for love while Clinton was in it for a few minutes of fun. When politically necessary and convenient he threw her away like a used tissue.

RJL on May 6, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Yeah, poor Hillary – when she had her goons, including Sid Blumenthal and Betsy Wright — deliberately, viciously attack all the “nuts and sluts.” What a protector of women!

As to Lewinsky, yea I’m all choked up over her mother, considering this is the same woman who helped her daughter shop for suitable lingerie for her illicit, disgraceful relationship w Clinton.

This country is going to Hell.

matthew8787 on May 6, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Think of the fun hound-dog Bill will have as First Husband and no official responsibilities to otherwise consume his time.

The East Wing – normally the province of the First Lady — will become DC’s latest and greatest whorehouse.

matthew8787 on May 6, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Bill Clinton embarrassed America in front of the world.
But he was more talented than Her.
Hillary Clinton was terribly hated as a first lady. I cannot imagine how much more America can take of her. She has accomplished and learned nothing since the ’90s.

Connecticut on May 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Of all the Clinton scandals to resurrect in a Hillary candidacy, the Lewinsky affair will be the most tiresome and least relevant of all. Hillary Clinton was an aggrieved party in that scandal, not a player in it

I’m calling bullshit on that one. While Hillary may have been the ‘aggrieved party’ when Billy was dilly-dallying around with his dilly, she was at the forefront of smearing and destroying a long list of women.

If you believe that Betsey Wright was the creator and main assassin of the infamous ‘Bimbo Eruption War Room,’ I’ve got a whole slew of debunked and ridiculous things to sell you.

Bill’s affairs are irrelevant to a Hillary candidacy. Her seek-and-destroy behaviour, especially against Bill’s paramours and victims, is fair game.

War on women, anyone?

Resist We Much on May 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Feminists and the Clinton Question

The New York Times
March 22, 1998, Sunday, Late Edition – Final

By Gloria Steinem; Gloria Steinem is a founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus and Ms. magazine.

If all the sexual allegations now swirling around the White House turn out to be true, President Clinton may be a candidate for sex addiction therapy. But feminists will still have been right to resist pressure by the right wing and the media to call for his resignation or impeachment. The pressure came from another case of the double standard.

For one thing, if the President had behaved with comparable insensitivity toward environmentalists, and at the same time remained their most crucial champion and bulwark against an anti-environmental Congress, would they be expected to desert him? I don’t think so. If President Clinton were as vital to preserving freedom of speech as he is to preserving reproductive freedom, would journalists be condemned as “inconsistent” for refusing to suggest he resign?

Forget it.

For another, there was and is a difference between the accusations against Mr. Clinton and those against Bob Packwood and Clarence Thomas, between the experiences reported by Kathleen Willey and Anita Hill. Commentators might stop puzzling over the President’s favorable poll ratings, especially among women, if they understood the common-sense guideline to sexual behavior that came out of the women’s movement 30 years ago: no means no; yes means yes.

It’s the basis of sexual harassment law. It also explains why the media’s obsession with sex qua sex is offensive to some, titillating to many and beside the point to almost everybody. Like most feminists, most Americans become concerned about sexual behavior when someone’s will has been violated; that is, when “no” hasn’t been accepted as an answer.

Let’s look at what seem to be the most damaging allegations, those made by Kathleen Willey. Not only was she Mr. Clinton’s political supporter, but she is also old enough to be Monica Lewinsky’s mother, a better media spokeswoman for herself than Paula Jones, and a survivor of family tragedy, struggling to pay her dead husband’s debts.

If any of the other women had tried to sell their stories to a celebrity tell-all book publisher, as Ms. Willey did, you might be even more skeptical about their motives. But with her, you think, “Well, she needs the money.”

For the sake of argument here, I’m also believing all the women, at least until we know more. I noticed that CNN polls taken right after Ms. Willey’s interview on “60 Minutes” showed that more Americans believed her than President Clinton.

Nonetheless, the President’s approval ratings have remained high. Why? The truth is that even if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life. She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again. In other words, President Clinton took “no” for an answer.

In her original story, Paula Jones essentially said the same thing. She went to then-Governor Clinton’s hotel room, where she said he asked her to perform oral sex and even dropped his trousers. She refused, and even she claims that he said something like, “Well, I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want
to do.”

Her lawyers now allege that as a result of the incident Ms. Jones described, she was slighted in her job as a state clerical employee and even suffered long-lasting psychological damage. But there appears to be little evidence to support those accusations. As with the allegations in Ms. Willey’s case, Mr. Clinton seems to have made a clumsy sexual pass, then accepted rejection.

This is very different from the cases of Clarence Thomas and Bob Packwood. According to Anita Hill and a number of Mr. Packwood’s former employees, the offensive behavior was repeated for years, despite constant “no’s.” It also occurred in the regular workplace of these women, where it could not be avoided.

The women who worked for Mr. Packwood described a man who groped and lunged at them. Ms. Hill accused Clarence Thomas of regularly and graphically describing sexual practices and pornography. In both cases, the women said they had to go to work every day, never knowing what sexual humiliation would await them — just the kind of “hostile environment” that sexual harassment law was intended to reduce.

As reported, Monica Lewinsky’s case illustrates the rest of the equation: “Yes means yes.” Whatever it was, her relationship with President Clinton has never been called unwelcome, coerced or other than something she sought. The power imbalance between them increased the index of suspicion, but there is no evidence to suggest that Ms. Lewinsky’s will was violated; quite the contrary. In fact, her subpoena in the Paula Jones case should have been quashed. Welcome sexual behavior is about as relevant to sexual harassment as borrowing a car is to stealing one.

The real violators of Ms. Lewinsky’s will were Linda Tripp, who taped their talks, the F.B.I. agents who questioned her without a lawyer and Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor who seems intent on tailoring the former intern’s testimony.

What if President Clinton lied under oath about some or all of the above?

According to polls, many Americans assume he did. There seems to be sympathy for keeping private sexual behavior private. Perhaps we have a responsibility to make it O.K. for politicians to tell the truth — providing they are respectful of “no means no; yes means yes” — and still be able to enter high office, including the Presidency.

Until then, we will disqualify energy and talent the country needs — as we are doing right now.

Resist We Much on May 6, 2014 at 6:19 PM

This is a non-story now. She must need some cash

I despise the Clinton corrupt machine but this is a non-story

Redford on May 6, 2014 at 6:39 PM

“My boss took advantage of me”

Yes he did. And she was just another starry-eyed 22-year-old who knew he was married and thought she could be the next Mrs. Clinton because she was all that. Monica probably got what she deserved for her complicity.

Bill Clinton didn’t pay much of a price for his part in the affair.

Oh well, such is life Monica.

jix on May 6, 2014 at 7:53 PM

I wonder….

Is Monica out for revenge, aiming to trash Hillary as the 2016 campaign starts to roll?

Is she looking for some hush money from the Clintons?

If either is true, I just gotta say…you go, girl.

BobMbx on May 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Can she sue him when her culture comes back positive?
/

Just another imagine if it was an R that did this. Imagine the marches in the street.

CW on May 6, 2014 at 8:29 PM

There seems to be sympathy for keeping private sexual behavior private. Perhaps we have a responsibility to make it O.K. for politicians to tell the truth — Gloria Steinem

Resist We Much on May 6, 2014 at 6:19 PM — thanks for reprinting that article. I don’t remember reading it at the time;I knew the gestalt of what NOW was doing, but didn’t really know the rationale.

Let’s try a little word game:

There seems to be NO sympathy for keeping private sexual behavior conversations private. Perhaps we have a responsibility to make it O.K. for politicians sports team owners to tell the truth —

AesopFan on May 7, 2014 at 12:24 AM

What nobody wants to talk about is the fact that the President is a federal employee and having sex with a subordinate, even if it is consensual, is a federal crime. And today Slick Willie is held in the highest esteem in the “Democrat” world.

savage24 on May 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Comment pages: 1 2