For your amusement, an alphabetical account of those wonderful Clinton years.

Billy boy

He is an amazing paradox: a man whose smallness loomed large, in every sense. We may never get the full measure of the man, but then neither did Monica. In the meantime, herewith an alphabet of fragrant memories from the Clinton era:

This was the first administration in US history to keep a standardised denial-of-sex form on file. When Paula Jones’ lawyers were sniffing round Arkansas for women who’d undergone similar experiences, a nervous Juanita Broaddrick called her attorney, who in turn contacted an old friend, White House counsel Bruce Lindsay. Shortly afterwards the President’s lawyer, Bob Bennett, faxed back the affidavit of another woman who’d denied involvement with Mr Clinton. Mrs Broaddrick’s counsel replaced the original name with that of his client and dropped it in the mail. “I [Your Name Here], being of sound body, did not have sexual relations with William Jefferson Clinton”: with the convenient do-it-yourself Clinton Home Affidavit Kit, you may get groped but there won’t be a lot of paperwork.

He was America’s first black president, according to novelist Toni Morrison; and the first gay president, according to himself, suggesting to a gay interviewer that gays supported him over impeachment because they understood what it was like to suffer discrimination. He was also the first Indian president, telling a disgruntled Cherokee that he shared the guy’s reservations (metaphorically) because he, too, was part-Cherokee. Big Chief Talking Bull had hit upon an ingenious strategy: in the crazed politically correct America of the Nineties, he was the only white male to get away with appropriating the victim role for himself.


"For the first time in 50 years, no nuclear missiles are targeted at American children.”

African genocide?

“When you look at those children who greeted us,” he told the Rwandans in 1998, “how could anyone say they did not want those children to have a chance to have their own children?”

Middle East peace?

“President Clinton stood before the Palestinian National Council and spoke of two profoundly emotional experiences in less than 24 hours. One of these was his meeting with the children of jailed Palestinian Arab terrorists. The other experience was meeting Israelis, some little children whose fathers had been killed in the conflict with Palestinians.”

No such meeting ever took place. As Elizabeth Wurtzel observed in her book Bitch, Bill Clinton “has made being full of shit not just a mere peccadillo, but in fact the greater part of his personality”.

His was the first First Penis to have an official statement issued on its behalf, following its formal examination by Captain Kevin O’Connell of the National Naval Medical Center as Exhibit A in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment suit. “In terms of size, shape, direction,” announced his lawyer Bob Bennett, “the President is a normal man.”