Almost a year ago, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Bill Clinton should have resigned over his affair with Monica Lewinsky. At the time, I thought Gillibrand was wrong — not to mention tardy — but now I’m undecided. What moved me, though, has little to do with Lewinsky and much more to do with a name that seems to have been forgotten: Juanita Broaddrick. She claimed Clinton raped her.
Broaddrick’s allegations first surfaced in the media 1992 as Clinton was running for president, and then resurfaced in 1999 when he was being impeached. At the time, her story seemed to be just another wild accusation made by twisted Clinton haters — the “murder” of White House aide Vincent Foster, drug smuggling through Arkansas’s Mena Airport and, seemingly, the disappearance of anyone within 100 miles of Little Rock.
Recently, however, I listened to a remarkable podcast. It is called “Slow Burn,” produced by Slate and narrated by its staff writer, Leon Neyfakh. Thus far, “Slow Burn” has covered two political scandals — Watergate and what started out as Whitewater but wound up as L’affaire Lewinsky. For that, Clinton was investigated by an obsessed special prosecutor, Ken Starr, and equally deranged members of the House. (Starr provided “Slow Burn” with a lengthy interview as did, surprisingly, Linda Tripp, who secretly recorded Lewinsky’s private confession of her affair with Clinton. Neither had substantial regrets.)