The ‘Clinton Papers’ were released this week. The president who was ‘made of kryptonite’ remains in the news, and is newsworthy although he hasn’t been in the Oval Office since 2001. These papers could be subtitled ‘Bill Clinton according to Bill Clinton.’
Friday more than 10,000 pages were revealed about the Clinton Administration. The cover the contentious issues of Whitewater and the Lewinsky scandal, as well as strategies used by the White House to minimize their damage. What they don’t do is jeopardize a presidential run by Hillary in 2016.
Some of the information is not new. We are all aware that Mr. Clinton had a difficult time controlling his desire for junk food and ‘certain’ types of women. Both were an Achilles Heel for him. He displayed great self-control when he worked for his law degree from Yale, and he remained focused as he earned the title of ‘Rhodes Scholar.’
Some of the written documents concerning Ms. Lewinsky were edited from the papers. A statement by a Clinton aid, Sidney Blumenthal, indicated that they did not want to see her suffer additional personal damage for the past.
The papers do reveal the White House efforts to be prepared for any and all questions. In addition, Mr. Clinton was prepared to attack the press for its irresponsible acts, and accusations.
Whitewater was a real estate investment gone bad. The Clintons and Jim and Susan McDougal were partners in the beginning of the ‘Whitewater Development Corporation.’ Several years later, Jim McDougal wanted to buy and develop 1,000 acres of land south of Little Rock Arkansas. The price was 1.75 million dollars. McDougal had purchased a bank and a savings and loan; he named them Madison Bank & Trust and the Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan. According to federal law, he could only loan himself $600,000. McDougal convinced others to invest in his project including a bank employee for the additional $1.15 million. The money was moved in and out of several accounts to avoid an investigation.
Federal regulators discovered that nearly all the money for the Whitewater investment had come from Madison Guaranty. In July of 1986, McDougal resigned from Madison. In 1989 Madison Guaranty collapsed during the savings and loan crisis, costing the federal government $73 million. During the time McDougal owned Madison, an illegal loan of $300,000 was obtained by Susan McDougal. Jim and Susan McDougal were convicted of illegal financial acts and fraud; the Clintons were never prosecuted.
When Mr. Clinton was in his first term in 1994, a special prosecutor was appointed to reopen the Clinton’s investigation regarding their involvement in Whitewater. In 1998 the Lewinsky scandal was added to special prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s queries. The affair became the main focus of his investigations, and Whitewater moved to the background. End of story.
The papers also included Mr. Clinton’s controversial pardons as his last days in office approached. Most noticeable was Marc Rich who was indicted on fraud and other charges in 1983 and fled to Switzerland.
Tactics and strategies were discovered which may be re-introduced into Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
When the Whitewater investigation began, the Clintons believed an effective tactic would be to make the hearings as long and costly as possible until Congress and the press tired of the situation. This demonstrates how these papers display the former president’s control; they help us draw the conclusion that they are Bill Clinton about Bill Clinton.
They also revealed how Mr. Clinton has always ‘had Hillary’s back.’ When she was being attacked over the healthcare issue, it was suggested that he should defend her, because none of ‘the other spineless Democrats would.’ He told Republicans to ‘come after him’ if they had a problem with his agenda, and leave his wife alone. He continues his strong support for her today.