Hillary Clinton Should Thank Monica Lewinsky

Columnists react to Lewinsky's 'Vanity Fair' article
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2014 12:09 PM CDT
Hillary Clinton Should Thank Monica Lewinsky
In this July 11, 2001, file photo, Monica Lewinsky arrives for a special screening of "The Score" in New York.   (AP Photo/Darla Khazei, File)

The timing of Monica Lewinsky's new article—as Hillary Clinton seems on the brink of a 2016 presidential campaign—may seem unfortunate for Clinton. On the contrary, writes Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post: Though the affair wasn't really mentioned during Clinton's 2008 campaign, that won't be the case in 2016. Rand Paul "has already raised the question of whether Democrats in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular, should consort with a 'sexual predator' like Bill Clinton," Marcus writes. But Lewinsky is clear in her article that the affair was consensual, "so her piece defuses Paul’s line of attack. And it does so before any Clinton presidential announcement," Marcus concludes. "If and when a Clinton presidential announcement comes, Lewinsky will be old news." More reactions:

  • In the New York Times, Maureen Dowd is back to her old pastime of criticizing Lewinsky, calling it "disingenuous" and "pretentious" that Lewinsky should say she was inspired to speak out by Tyler Clementi's suicide.
  • On Jezebel, Kate Dries is similarly unimpressed. Headline: "Vanity Fair Gives Monica Lewinsky 15 More Minutes."
  • Robin Abcarian is even harsher in the Los Angeles Times: "We all know the story: In 1998, a horny 21-year-old White House intern flashes her thong at a horny commander-in-chief."
  • But on the Daily Beast, Emily Shire hits back against that sort of talk. We've long forgiven Bill Clinton, but many people are still eager to "slut shame" Lewinsky, she writes. "It would be nice to think that in 2014, when we’re much quicker to call out slut-shaming in politics, entertainment, and everyday life, Lewinsky would be received with a little more understanding. But apparently when it comes to Monica Lewinsky, it’s 1998 all over again."
(More Monica Lewinsky stories.)

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