As failed Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton continues her behind-the-scenes quest for the vice presidential nomination, her long-shot hopes for even that job are being derailed by her husband’s continued affairs with other women.
Actress Gina Gershon is just the latest young women to be linked with Hillary’s philandering husband and Clinton insiders fear the former President’s jet-set lifestyle will doom any real political future for his wife.
With presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama insisting that all potential candidates for Vice President — including Hillary Clinton — be fully "vetted" by his search team along with their spouses and family, aides to the New York Senator say any real scrutiny of Bill Clinton’s activities will uncover more evidence of adultery.
"He’s still screwing around," grumbles one Clinton insider. "He always has and probably always will."
Writes Todd Purdum in Vanity Fair:
Over the last few years, aides have winced at repeated tabloid reports about Clinton’s episodic friendship and occasional dinners out with Belinda Stronach, a twice-divorced billionaire auto-parts heiress and member of the Canadian Parliament 20 years his junior, or at more recent high-end Hollywood dinner-party gossip that Clinton has been seen visiting with the actress Gina Gershon in California. There has been talk of a female friend in Chappaqua, a woman in a bar at a meeting of the Aspen Institute, and a public sighting of Clinton, Bing, and a ravishing entourage in a New York elevator that, a former Clinton aide told me, led a business leader who saw them to say: I don’t know what the guy was doing, but it was so clear that it was just no good.
None of these wisps of smoke have produced a public fire. But four former Clinton aides told me that, about 18 months ago, one of the president’s former assistants, who still advises him on political matters, had heard so many complaints about such reports from Clinton supporters around the country that he felt compelled to try to conduct what one of these aides called an “intervention,” because, the aide believed, “Clinton was apparently seeing a lot of women on the road.” The would-be intercessor was rebuffed by people around Clinton before ever getting an audience with the former president, and another aide told me that the effort was not well received by either Bill or Hillary Clinton and that some Hillarylanders, in particular, were in denial about the continuing political risks that Bill’s behavior might pose.
"Bill Clinton is a man who does not like to spend the night alone and he spends many nights away from his wife," a former aide to the President told Capitol Hill Blue. "He still has an eye for the ladies."
Clinton also likes to hang out with others who share his passion for young women.
Purdum also writes of Clinton’s buddies who joined him at the wedding of his long-time assistant:
Also in attendance was Ron Burkle, the California supermarket billionaire and investor who is Clinton’s bachelor buddy, fund-raiser, and business partner. Burkle had come with an attractive blonde, described by a fellow guest as “not much older than 19, if she was that.”
Burkle’s usual means of transport is the custom-converted Boeing 757 that Clinton calls “Ron Air” and that Burkle’s own circle of young aides privately refer to as “Air Fuck One.” Clinton himself had arrived on the private plane of another California friend, the real-estate heir, Democratic donor, liberal activist, and sometime movie and music producer Steve Bing, whose colorful private life includes fathering a child out of wedlock with the actress Elizabeth Hurley and suing the billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian for invasion of privacy, alleging that private investigators for Kerkorian swiped Bing’s dental floss out of his trash in a successful effort to prove that Bing’s DNA matched that of a child delivered by Kerkorian’s ex-wife, the former tennis pro Lisa Bonder. (The suit was later settled out of court.)
Aides admit privately that Clinton still "messes around" and say that there is no way that his wife doesn’t know.
"Hillary has perfected the art of looking the other way when it suits her political needs and ambition," says a Clinton insider. "I don’t think she cares as long as it doesn’t become public."
While Clinton has refused to discuss the specifics in Purdum’s article, spokesmen for both the former President and Gershon have denied any affair and Clinton has called the author a "scumbag" and worse names, even though Purdum is married to Dee Dee Myers, Clinton’s first press secretary in the White House.
Denial, however, is always part of Clinton’s game plan. He denied, and later admitted, an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Meanwhile, two other women in Clinton’s past have come out of the shadows with attempts to cash in on their relationship wih the former President.
Reports The Associated Press:
Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones are offering Internet viewers the lurid details of encounters they claim they had with former President Clinton — for $1.99 a pop.
The women, who gained notoriety in the early 1990s after claiming to have had sexual encounters with Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas, have created a Web site offering videos of their thoughts on Clinton, his wife Hillary and other matters. Each video segment is available for $1.99.
"It’s a way we can get our story out there in our own words, without someone making their own interpretations or corrections," Jones said.
On Monday, both walked down a manicured avenue to the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock and chatted with an interviewer from the syndicated television program "Extra."
Clinton’s womanizing has been the subject of late night talk show jokes, endless speculation and even ridicule outside America’s borders.
Noted the St. Catherine Standard in Ontario, Canada, commending on Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Presidential primaries:
Unfortunately, her husband, ex-president Bill Clinton has not been an asset to her campaign. Too many voters remember him as a womanizer and a perjurer, the president who was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998. His presence again in the White House, even in the supporting role as husband to the president, may be too repugnant for some voters to stomach.
In the end, the President’s libido may cost his wife a shot at the Vice Presidency as well.
(For more information, read the 1996 series of stories, All the President’s Women, in Capitol Hill Blue.)