2004-07-09 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

The Emperor

Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey

Bill Clinton’s new book entitled "My Life" reminds me of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Both books are too long and give prominence to notable men who have the same proclivities.

According to Sara Nelson and Keith Kelly in the July 2nd edition of the Wall Street Journal, Bill Clinton’s book has sold over one million copies in the first week. This breaks all sales records for a nonfiction book. In fact it is so popular that the publisher was printing more books totaling 2.6 million copies.

It appears that in many circles the wanderings of our former President are viewed as one would look at a rock star or a movie personality. Hasn’t anyone told Clinton that his self reported behavior is unbecoming a President of the United States. In writing his bio and including the Monica Lewinsky episode Clinton has made this a defining moment in his Presidency.

I never thought that I would say this but I actually find myself agreeing with Monica Lewinsky. Monica is quoted in news reports as saying that she had hoped that Clinton would have taken a few million less and not included his relationship with her in the book.

Everyone recognizes that people can make a mistake. However for Clinton to capitalize on this only compounds his error.

Mark Steyn in his column entitled "The Wrong Way to Mount Rushmore" in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, June 25, 2004, page W5, reviews Clinton’s My Life. He poses the question "Is there anything interesting in My Life"? He feels that "the vast tome is deceptively easy when Clinton
is merely telling a heart warming personal anecdote about every single person listed in the Arkansas telephone directory between 1946 and 1992". However Steyn finds that after page 700 Clinton rationalizes his "flirtations".

Bill Clinton is definitely a charismatic person. He can walk into a room of 1,000 people and quickly engage even those in the back of the room. He has the ability to create hype as shown through his appearances with Oprah Winfrey and Dan Rather. Bill Clinton can point with pride to many success

es and significant accomplishments during his presidency.

However by writing a book highlighting his personal issues he diminishes his own legacy.

I am recommending that everyone read Clinton’s book – not the one that’s getting all the press. I am still trying to finish War and Peace so I don’t think that I will get to Clinton’s My Life any time soon. The Clinton book I am recommending is "The Clinton Presidential Center Cookbook".

It includes recipes by many of Clinton’s famous and unfamous friends. Liz Smith reviewed it in her syndicated column on July 2, 2004. This cookbook is a must if you are having company for dinner and want to create an indelible impression. It has recipes for chocolate gravy and gives advice on frying chicken with mayonnaise.

I must sign off now because I am about to try one of the Clinton Cookbook recipes.

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