Bill Clinton’s once burning ambition is now limited to writing books or playing the saxophone. The ex-president turns 75.
He looks good. The slightly tanned face looks aged, but it is angular and stands in an attractive contrast to the short cut ice-gray hair, which he has coiffed tightly backwards and thus reinforces the dynamic impression. A man in his prime, they used to say to someone like him.
Well, that’s one of the things about the prime of life. From a purely biological point of view, Bill Clinton has long since passed. There shouldn’t be any new highlights in his career either, after all he was President of the United States of America from 1993 to 2001. More is not possible.
He focuses on the pleasant things in life
On August 19th, Bill Clinton will be 75 years old and he looks as if he is enjoying his retirement, which should indeed be the best years for Clinton as a private individual, especially since his once burning ambition is now on writing books, playing the saxophone and all that limited to other pleasant things in life.
It used to be very different. There was William Jefferson “Bill” Blythe III – his biological father William Jefferson Blythe Jr. died in a car accident in 1946, the last name Clinton was given to him years later by his stepfather Roger Clinton – the irresistible urge to number one: with 22 bachelor degrees from the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington as an economist. Since he was already working on the side as an assistant to the Democratic Senator J. William.
A fascinating power couple
In 1968 Bill Clinton received a scholarship to Oxford University in England, in 1973 he completed a three-year law degree at the elite Yale University. It was there that he met his future wife Hillary (73), who was also a brilliant lawyer and whose ambition was to surpass that of her husband. Together they were (and are) a fascinating power couple that America doesn’t really know whether to admire or fear …
After teaching as assistant professor of law at the University of Fayetteville, Arkansas, the “Boy Wonder”, as the press dubbed the young Bill Clinton, became the state attorney general of Arkansas at 30 and the country’s youngest governor at 32.
Although he lost his re-election in 1980, he took back office in the elections two years later. Now Bill Clinton was also a great beacon of hope for the Democratic Party. Indeed, the teenage governor of Arkansas won the presidential election in 1992. He was only 46 at the time.
Was he a great president?
Bill Clinton ruled the White House for two terms. Was he a great president? “After the bankruptcy of the Eastern Bloc, the term of office of the 42nd President was marked by an incomparable economic boom – the golden 90s”, writes the “Manager Magazin”. “He even managed the trick of generating budget surpluses – today it sounds like a land of milk and honey. Politically speaking, Clinton, the born rhetorician with seductive qualities, was simply a Sunday child.”
And the “Deutschlandfunk” judges: “Peace, prosperity and scandals: this is how many Americans see the era of Bill Clinton today. When he left office, dirty jokes were made about him, but he enjoyed the highest approval that an outgoing American president has ever received.”
“Slick Willie” (slick Willie), that’s what the journalists called him. He is said to have maintained a long-term extramarital relationship as Attorney General for Arkansas. “Slick Willie” did not confirm this directly, but later only admitted in the presence of his wife Hillary that there had been “problems in the marriage” at the time.
This is a distinct specialty of Bill Clinton: admitting something – and denying it at the same time. Example: When accused of drug use during the presidential election campaign, he admitted that as a young man he smoked marijuana – but did not inhale it! – to have.
Even in the biggest scandal of his career, the Lewinsky affair, which led to a (failed) impeachment procedure, he stubbornly denied that he had “had a sexual relationship” with the then intern Monica Lewinsky (48) as president. He later admitted that he “only” had oral sex with Lewinsky at the White House.
In the course of this process, which should actually be called the Clinton scandal and not the Lewinsky scandal, and nowadays would inevitably have ended with the resignation of the President, the allegations of other women came to light. Stories that – for all political merits – are inseparable from the vita and reputation of Bill Clinton, who gives the Elder Statesman in retirement with great persuasiveness. After two heart operations, he demonstrates the sovereign serenity of a man who has achieved everything in life.
Second career as a speaker and writer
With his Clinton Foundation he is fighting for cheaper AIDS drugs and is committed to helping people with disabilities. And he is making a second career as a speaker and writer: for his memoir “My Life” he received a double-digit million sum. He has just published the political thriller “The President’s Daughter” with the writer James Patterson (74). The author duo had a bestseller success in 2018 with the novel “The President is missing”.
In fact, there was only one plan in the Clinton household that went completely wrong: his wife Hillary Clinton, previously a Senator from New York and US Secretary of State, wanted to become the first US president. In 2016 she was defeated by a certain Donald Trump (75). There was nothing to do with Bill Clinton’s favorite track “First Dude” – the nation’s first buddy.
Instead, a bon mot still haunts him from President George W. Bush (75), once a political opponent and now a friend, through Washington: “If Clinton were the ‘Titanic’, the iceberg would have sunk”.