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Scattered Nuggets of Policy, Wisdom But More Confessional Mode
It pays to be president of the Unitied States of America. We must quickly admit that while the salary of a sitting president may not be more than that--let's say- a baseball, basketball or Football player or a Hollywood/action star, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, any president stands to make lots of money once he leaves office. Now we are not talking about the ego boost that comes from being the top male, alpha male in the world. In a few terms, the office of the president does pay through special speeches, presentations, fund-raising events, book publications and memoirs. Such is the case for the brilliant mind, great speaker former President Bill Clinton.
How many people can receive a $12 million advance on a book way before anything is written? More interestingly is speed at which the same book is made a bestseller list from New York to San Francisco and anywhere else in between.
Clinton's presidency was greatly marked by many years of peace and prosperity. As we look back on the 1990s, we can say that his tenure benefitted from the collapse of the Soviet Union or the end of the Cold War, the economic wealth created by the computer and Internet and the various forms of businesses they spawned. With lots of pressures from his party members and Republicans, the Clinton administration managed to balance the budget and start the welfare reform.
If Clinton was not a politician, he could have been a good marketer. He knows how to gauge the public's needs. He appears to like numbers. Well, let's say with 957 pages, My Life covers lots of interesting topics and events that took place under his guard. One reader of the book even suggested that Clinton may have had time to watch the Oprah Winfrey Show. He knows what the readers want. Just like any American of these times, Clinton knows about the power of the confessional mode. It sells books especially if they are full with tidbits from his personal life indiscretion.
My Life is not a dry book: Clinton accepts the blame for his affair with Monica Lewinsky
(His joke is that the impeachment brought him closer to his wife who had initially sent him to the dog house -couch-). As I go through the various pages of this tome, I get to understand the President's greatness and weaknesses. Look, he'll tell you he's just like us. He can rise and fall all at once. He is not a fool who does not recognize his mistakes.
Clinton is too smart to have written a dry book about policies. He did not want the book to be about setting scores with his opponents in the "Right Wing Conspiracy." Ken Starr and his impeachers are on top of the list. He knew he had to come clean first to his wife and then to the nation. Didn't we see this type of emotional tragedies in the French and English literature and history? He will be greatly sorry for the rift he created in his own family. He admitted that his daughter and his wife became distant. He admitted to being pained by the sorrow and shame of his beloved daughter who was at a crucial time in her own life.
My Life shows Clinton loves himself. He uses the confessional mode to tell his story. It's a form of storytelling popularized mostly by the talk shows of which Oprah champions. He volunteers information that has been in the public domain for years. He also makes some revelations about his mother who was married five times to four men. To connect with the average reader in Middle America, he writes about his hardship growing up in Arkansas in a home where his stepfather and his mother did not always get along. He reveals that man had an alcohol problem. Clinton also writes about his tendency to hide things away from those who love him the most. A man with a good and bad side. A real man. A complete man. In the book, he wants to side with those who defend sexual privacy. He also becomes contrite writing about the details of the affair and its impact on his wife and daughter.
This time, Bill Clinton does not need a poll to tell him that Americans like reading about the intimate details of powerful and famous people. Even if they had heard the story from prosecutor Ken Star and his group, the average American readers want to read the story of the affair from the main actor, the most powerful man of his time.
My Life is an interesting book that will shed more light on the man who is Bill Clinton, his administration and his aspirations. If you thought you knew this intellectual, Bill Clinton, read this book. You'll find out that he does not like to be called "slick bill." Clinton is a survivor. He knows how to turn the misfortunes and defeats of his life into great stories of triumph.