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The PBS American Experience gave us all a present on President’s Day––a documentary about America’s most gifted and tragically flawed President: William Jefferson Clinton. The American Prospect summarizes:

In this documentary’s no doubt oversimplified formulation, Clinton learned to live two lives. It was his salvation and his doom. It’s what made him the “comeback kid,” more times than anybody could count. It’s what gave him the sense of invincibility that allowed him to continue living one life in public and one in private—and led him into the arms of Monica Lewinsky, then back out of the resulting scandal into the embrace of the American public.

While it politely leaves the details to our sordid imaginations, the documentary doesn’t stint on Clinton’s character flaws, either political or personal. The extent of his womanizing is made clear by Paul Fray, who managed his failed first campaign for Congress, who recalls: “I mean, you got to understand that at one time, there was at least 25 women per day coming around trying to find him. Lord, it was bad—bad, bad, bad, bad.” The threat of exposure kept him from running for president in 1988. But four years later, he couldn’t help himself.


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