Clinton’s Comeback

It Walks Like Men clinton-foundation-logo.jpg

“Office of President Clinton” has responded to the epic Vanity Fair catalogue of his sins. One thesis of the piece is that Clinton has in many ways lost it, and on the basis of his response one has to agree.

It’s a weird mish-mash of misstatement, whining that good deeds aren’t covered, and the locating of bizarrely analogous persons you wouldn’t think Clinton would want to be associated with.

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The preamble tries to make the case for nothing to see here we haven’t seen before:

“A tawdry, anonymous quote-filled attack piece, published in this month’s Vanity Fair magazine regarding former President Bill Clinton repeats many past attacks on him, ignores much prior positive coverage, includes numerous errors, and ultimately breaks no new ground. It is, in short, journalism of personal destruction at its worst.”


In short, oddly descriptive of what follows.

After unfurling it’s banner, the “Office of President Clinton” takes a side tangent to defend the unsullied honor of Clinton wrangler Doug Band’s wife:

“The piece also takes gratuitous and baseless shots at President Clinton’s longtime Counselor, Doug Band, a key architect of the post-presidency, in sections that are rife with mistakes and which, in particularly galling taste, go as far as to criticize Band’s wife, who started, and is the CEO of a multi-million dollar global company.”

Vanity Fair‘s galling Mrs. Band references in full:

“A range of Clinton loyalists complain privately that Band does not keep Clinton away from people like Burkle and Bing, who attended Band’s wedding to Lily Rafii, a glamorous designer of high-end handbags, belts, and other accessories.”

A vast procession of staffers, do-gooders, and the done good are evoked, as the burning question ” Who didn’t VF call?” shines like a truth-seeking beacon. Nelson Mandela went uncontacted for his opinion on Clinton’s health, politicals, and pants down matters.

Then the real fun begins, as the “Office of President Clinton” proudly associates his “strong brand” with a series of oddballs and right wing hacks whose only common element is unhappiness with Vanity Fair.

“Since 1992, media outlets have reported on the magazine’s penchant for libel, which has led to numerous lawsuits.”

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The “Office of President Clinton” stands proudly with Mohamed Fayed, all around sleaze and fount of conspiracy theories about who killed his son and Princess Dianna, and who filed and dropped a case against Vanity Fair.

The next unsavory Clinton chooses to show solidarity with is famed anthrax “person of interest” Steven Hatfill, the former government scientist whose dubious actions in white ruled Southern Africa and extracurricular activities generated a great deal of, er, interest.

Hatfill dropped his suit against Vanity Fair when they agreed to issue a statement which amounts to the anthrax accusation version of apologizing to “anyone who might have taken offense.” The magazine offered assurances that he didn’t do it and they didn’t say so, despite all they published implying it and the evidence they mounted for it.

Next, the Author of Axis:

“And in late 2006, the conservative author David Frum took to the pages of Huffington Post to explain how, “[i]n short, Vanity Fair transformed a Washington debate over “how to correct course and win the war” to advance obsessions all their own.” [Huffington Post, 11/4/06]”

It was actually National Review Online, and whatever is the point of quoting the inventor of the Axis of Evil on sad misrepresentations of his noble Iraqi cause?

Moving from libel, where truth is a defense, to opinion, the “Office of President Clinton” gathers more unholy allies.

“VF Claims: President Clinton had a negative impact on his wife’s campaign.

The Facts: Independent observers continue to praise President Clinton’s abilities on the stump: “I have always said that Bill Clinton is still par excellence among all of them [speakers on the stump].” [Michael Smerconish on MSNBC, 5/12/08]”

Here the master pol turns for validation to a shaved headed right-wing talk show host with an interest in fighting “sissification.” smerconish-michael.jpg

” VF Claims: President Clinton’s Counselor Doug Band was involved in a deal involving Ron Burkle and Raffaello Follieri.

The Facts: Band was not involved in and did not receive remuneration for this deal.”


“Doug Band, though not Clinton himself, was involved in another Burkle investment that produced embarrassment. As The Wall Street Journal reported last fall, Band helped introduce Burkle to Raffaello Follieri (an Italian entrepreneur and the boyfriend of the actress Anne Hathaway), who had a proposal to buy and develop properties being sold off by the Catholic Church. Band received a $400,000 finder’s fee for the transaction (which he has said he passed on to others involved). Burkle later sued Follieri for allegedly misappropriating funds to pay expenses. (The dispute was settled out of court.) A Clinton adviser told me that Follieri (who was recently charged with attempting to pass a bad check for $215,000 in New York; the charge was later dropped) had come with good references. (Attempts to reach Follieri were unsuccessful.)”

…largely cribbed from the Wall Street Journal:

“Mr. Band referred questions about the Italian businessman to[Clinton Spokesman] Mr. Carson. In written responses, Mr. Carson said Mr. Band “became friendly” with Mr. Follieri, who “explained to Doug and others his unique business opportunity” for buying Catholic Church properties. “Doug and others made introductions for Raffaello.” He added that Mr. Band didn’t keep the $400,000 sent him by Mr. Follieri for arranging Mr. Cooper’s investment.”

Get it straight: Introductions, not involvement!

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