Kirsten Gillibrand has ’em talking among Democratic Party officials and loyalists.
The U.S. senator from New York has said that President Bill Clinton should have resigned his office when it became known he was fooling around with a young female White House intern.
I could not possibly disagree more with Sen. Gillibrand.
She has been swept up in this “Me Too” movement spawned by the rash of sexual abuse/harassment/assault allegations that are swirling though the entertainment industry and the political world.
And of course we have Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who’s been accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls.
Back to President Clinton.
The president got impeached because he lied to a grand jury about the relationship he had with the intern. Republican House members said the lie rose to the level of an impeachable offense. So the House impeached him; the president stood trial on obstruction charges and was acquitted by the Senate.
Should he have quit … over that? It sounds to me as if Sen. Gillibrand is being swept up in a moment of frenzy.
Do I need to remind the senator that the intern was an adult when she was fooling around with the president? The relationship, while it was sickening, was a consensual one. The intern has gone on with her life. The president finished his two terms in office and has become a beloved figure among Democrats across the country.
Gillibrand’s statement has ’em talking within the Democratic Party. Fine. Let ’em talk, squawk and wail about whether the former president should have quit.
It was an embarrassing episode for the president and for the presidency. No one seriously doubts any of that. It also proved embarrassing for Republicans who were looking for any reason to impeach a detested Democratic president — who delivered it to them when he lied under oath to a federal grand jury.
The president paid plenty in the moment for his indiscretion and his effort to cover it up. That’s enough. President Clinton need not have resigned over it.