A two-part television documentary about President Bill Clinton and his infamously insatiable libido will dive deep about the 42nd president’s lady troubles, examining the betrayal his closest advisers felt as the Monica Lewinsky scandal grabbed the country’s attention in the late 1990s.
The two-part PBS documentary will trace Clinton’s life in Arkansas, his infidelities there with Ginnifer Flowers and Paula Jones, and how his extramarital relationships dogged his presidential campaign — and his time in the White House.
According to a review in London’s Guardian newspaper, Clinton pulled out of an early run for Arkansas governor due to his involvement with multiple girlfriends — with one campaign chief recalling having to deal with “25 women a day.”
When aide Betsey Wright offered him a list of women he had to nix prior to becoming governor, “It became clear it was not the time to do it,” she says in the documentary.
Clinton’s mojo spigot kept running after he left Arkansas for Washington, D.C. Dick Morris, Clinton’s longtime adviser and a prominent Democratic pollster, speaks of the moment Clinton told him about his indiscretion with Lewinsky.
“Bill said to me: ‘Ever since I got to the White House I have had to shut down my body.’”
Robert Reich, Clinton’s labor secretary, said he was shocked to find out about the affair. “He would not be so stupid as to jeopardise his whole presidency, I felt,” said Reich. “That was not the man I knew.” (RELATED: More on Bill Clinton)
Marla Crider, a Clinton associate in Arkansas who also had an affair with the politician, recalled that women were “literally mesmerised” by him.
“It was like flies to honey. I don’t think there is any question Hillary was hurt,” the Telegraph quotes her in the documentary. “Monica Lewinsky gave him something that he needed at that time: to be adored.”
Wright explains that she felt betrayed by the lies “to a lot of people.”
While there are voices of hurt and betrayal, CNN correspondent Jeffrey Toobin, a contributor to the documentary, explains that the scandal did not irreparably harm Clinton’s legacy.
“The legacy of this scandal favors Clinton more than his adversaries,” Toobin says, according to The Telegraph. “More Americans think that it was a trivial waste of time than think that he got away with something unforgivable.”
When put up next to his successors, Toobin further notes, the Clinton years seem better.
“In comparison, too, both with [George] Bush, with his foreign misadventures, and with [Barack] Obama’s economic problems, the boom years of Clinton’s presidency start to look a lot better,” Toobin added.
The documentary titled, “Clinton: American Experience,” was funded partially through private contributions and partially by government grants. It is set to air Feb. 20.