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Clinton's book

I haven't read it, but I have a confession to make. During the past three years or so, I had developed something akin to a sense of nostalgia about our 42nd president. But when the recent hype surrounding his new book began, I suddenly remembered what I'd disliked about the man.

When viewing his administration in hindsight, we have a natural tendency to focus exclusively on the one big lie. But deceit and dishonesty, far from being an aberration, are at the very core of Clinton's nature.

Does anyone actually believe, for example, that Bill Clinton slept on the couch for months after his affair came to light? This is the White House, for God's sake! Are you telling me there wasn't a spare bed to be had anywhere? (Although, as my friend Mal pointed out, it might have been busy season for donors at the time.) And does anyone actually buy his claim that he views his impeachment as a "badge of honor"? I mean, I can accept that he (rightly) views the proceedings as tainted by partisanship, but still, it's not exactly the Medal of Valor. I'm not buying it, and I won't be buying his book, either.

The lens of time has a way of softening the rough edges around our former leaders. Indeed, it's not hard to imagine a future, 20 or 30 years hence, when Clinton's death will be met, as was Reagan's, with nearly universal praise and acclaim. For that to happen, however, he'll have to stay out of the limelight long enough for us to forget about him.

Somehow, I don't think that's his style.