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For years now, it has been known that Bill Clinton did indeed have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.
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But until now, the reason why the former president put everything on the line, eventually leading to his impeachment, wasn’t entirely clear, if indeed a singular reason really existed. According to a new book, “Partner to Power: The Secret World of Presidents and Their Most Trusted Advisers,” Clinton may have sought solace in the White House intern after Hillary Clinton’s health care initiative failed.
The book suggests Bill, who believed health care reform would be the hallmark legislation of his first term, “no longer trusted” Hillary.
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The book’s author, former senior Congressional adviser K. Ward Cummings, portrays a disheartening relationship between Bill and Hillary, who ultimately failed because “compromise was not part of their vocabulary.”
Cummings suggests many of the same problems — he enumerates them in the book as “intense secrecy, the unhealthy nature of their personal power sharing and their insistence on treating healthcare reform like a war in which everyone was either their friend or their foe” — came back to haunt Hillary during her 2016 presidential run that ended in defeat against Donald Trump.
The book claims the Clintons were a dysfunctional power couple driven by guilt: Bill felt it for his infidelity, and Hillary exploited that to her own ends.
Cummings’ book covers advisers from the presidency of Washington to the modern day. He dives into the role Hillary played as her husband’s close adviser because she, Cummings says, “stretched the boundaries of the Office of the First Lady more than anyone in history.”
Cummings argues that Bill thought Hillary was “essential” to his political success after she helped him win a second term as Arkansas governor.
“Bill had become deeply and unhealthily dependent on Hillary, and she developed a similarly profound sense of entitlement for helping to turn his career around,” Cummings writes. “She felt she had earned the right to be regarded as a partner to his power. Placing her at the helm of his signature program was an expression of their new power-sharing arrangement.”
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But, Cummings adds, that arrangement turned out to be a “gross miscalculation that [Bill] would deeply regret.”
The book says that Hillary made a series of errors and miscalculations during her push for health care reform, such as vilifying her critics, that created a wave of negativity against her.
“The moral confidence she felt made it easier for her to dismiss efforts by others who wanted to steer her towards compromise,” Cummings writes.
That, he says, turned the tide of public opinion against health care reform, and the effort fell apart in August of 1994.