Posted by Steven Hayward
Todd Purdum’s phrase describing Bill Clinton in this not-to-be-missed Vanity Fair article. People will be talking about this piece for months I suspect. Clinton has already issued a rebuttal at what he’s calling "a smear."
Bill Clinton suffering "A Cavernous Narcissism?" Where is the news value of this?
And, with no respect due to Todd Purdum's banal and vulgar observations, the "cavernous narcissism" of Barack Obama is a more topical subject.
Bill Clinton is a rascal. We know this, but now that he's no longer in power, may actually be doing some good.
On the other hand, Obama, poised to gain power, is much, much, more dangerous to our republic.
But consider, John, that everything old is new again. What seems like old news to us appears to be a revelation of sorts on the left. The Clintons had to set themselves to work on one of their own for liberals to see the truth in what we've been saying for nearly two decades. But now that they have seen it, it remains for them to deny that Senator Obama is of a piece with those two. (And, of course, they are happy to oblige.) It will be more difficult for them to admit Obama's narcissism because it runs so contrary to the narrative they wish to create and Obama is, in some ways, much more clever and smooth than even Bill. Also, admitting this raises the question of whether their whole world view is, in itself, flawed. But the stubborn fact remains that Obama and his narcissism are a haunting reminder of the Clinton years. The value, then, in remembering the scope of the Clinton narcissism may be in this: it might remind people of how they were fooled once. It's unlikely that people will wish to repeat that experience again. If those who say that Obama is not all that he claims are the same folks who said that of Clinton, how can it hurt to see them vindicated in the latter case?
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