When Bill Clinton was leaving office, I argued to forget about the rumors of a Bill Clinton talk show because the most compelling reality show ever would be one in which we followed Clinton around 24 hours a day. After reading the new article on Clinton’s current life in Vanity Fair (the one that says “Brad Pitt Naked” on the front), I’m even more convinced that such a show would be a huge hit.
I’m no Clinton fan (don’t get me started on where his “health care reform” has left us), but it’s impossible not to be fascinated by the actions of this larger-than-life character as he struggles with his various demons and keeps up his frenetic pace. There is the ever-present sense with Clinton of wasted or squandered opportunities. We see it and so does he.
The article, which I guarantee you will read from beginning to end in one sitting, shows his titanic struggle to write his book (in the TV show, we’d follow Clinton going to a dozen events, hanging out with tons of people and telling everyone how hard he is working on the book, with a cut back to a legal pad on his desk filled with doodles) while working on his legacy (AIDS, for which he’s done some real good, but battles with his inability to keep his focus on it) and trying to engineer the Democratic nomination process (littered with the failed candidacies of the people he “helped,” yet clearly Kerry would be halped by Clinton’s political insights).
Through all of this, however, the article shows Clinton’s aura and star power, his impact on people and his ability, when focused, to get things done, and the fascination we have and will continue to have with him and his “legacy.”
One question: Clinton or Bremer in charge of Iraq? Clinton is looking for a legacy and bringing in Iraq for a safe landing would give that to him. Just a thought.
By the end of the article, however, you are left with a sense of sadness – that sense of wasted opportunity that always follows Clinton around. And, there’s a strong sense of the Ancient Mariner in some of the stories, the guest who overstays his welcome, talking endlessly about himself, while people try to ease him toward the door. Read the article and see if you pick up that same feeling.