“Any allegation that the president assaulted Mrs. Broaddrick more
than 20 years ago is absolutely false,” said Clinton lawyer David
Kendall over the weekend in response to public charges by Juanita
Broaddrick, a former Clinton campaign worker.
That sounds like a denial of Broaddrick’s charges, made first to NBC
reporter Lisa Myers in an interview never broadcast, and, later, to the
Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz. But let’s remember. This is a
Clinton lawyer. So we had better analyze that statement carefully. Where
are the loopholes? How can this statement be, perhaps, legally accurate
yet totally untrue at the same time.
Let’s diagram this sentence.
The first word of the statement is interesting — “any.” Why does he
say “any” allegation? We’re talking about one very specific allegation
by the alleged victim of the crime. Yet Kendall doesn’t use the more
obvious article “the” in this situation. The implication is that such
allegations are being made by people who don’t know what they are
talking about — perhaps more members of the “vast right-wing
The fifth word of the statement — “president” — is also noteworthy.
Of course, no one, including Mrs. Broaddrick, suggests Bill Clinton was
president at the time of the assault. And no one suggests the president
at the time of the crime, Jimmy Carter, was responsible for the attack.
Notice that it refers to the victim as Mrs. Broaddrick. Of course, in
1978, when she was raped in a hotel room, her name was not Mrs.
Broaddrick. So here’s another possible lawyerly hairsplitting
Since a great deal of thought and planning went into this non-denial
denial, there are probably more areas of implausible undeniability. But
I’m not a Clinton lawyer, so forgive me for only spotting a few obvious
ones. Remember, we’re dealing with people here who will question what
the word “is” means while under oath. Kendall was just speaking to a
reporter for the Associated Press. With no perjury at stake yet, the
real linguistic gymnastics haven’t even begun.
The bigger question, of course, is why won’t Clinton answer the
important questions raised by this lady’s accusations? Calling her a
liar is not enough. He has called too many women liars in the past to
have any credibility now.
Was it a case of mistaken identity? Was there an impostor running
around Little Rock in 1978 pretending to be Arkansas Attorney General
Bill Clinton? Does he have an evil twin? How did she get this idea that
he forced himself sexually upon her? Is she delusional? Is she motivated
by politics, money, fame? Is she, too, a stalker — overcome by
Clinton’s raw animal magnetism and now ashamed of her weakness?
Clinton owes the nation — and certainly Mrs. Broaddrick — much more
than he is offering.
But what should we expect? The establishment press is not eager for
another Clinton scandal — of the sexual kind or otherwise. It is ready
to drop this hot potato as fast as it arose. NBC demonstrated that by
spiking Lisa Myers’ story. The rest of the press didn’t bother pursuing
it despite the fact that so much of the story had dribbled out. It took
an editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal, conveniently
marginalized by this White House as part of the “right-wing conspiracy,”
to break it.
The Washington Post put 11 reporters on a story that ran page one in
its Saturday edition. No follow-up was forthcoming yesterday. The New
York Times continues to pretend nothing happened. Meanwhile, the Sunday
morning talking head shows were on to more important issues, such as
whether Hillary Clinton will really run for a New York Senate seat.
The reason no one pushes it, is because we all know the truth
already. Clinton is a rapist. Juanita Broaddrick’s horror story oozes
credibility. Clinton is a congenital liar. So who are we to believe?
And there’s little point in exploring the story further because
Clinton is going to get away with the crime — just as he has gotten
away with so many others. There’s no controlling legal authority, as
long as people with as little character as the president himself occupy
at least 34 seats in the U.S. Senate. That’s the harsh reality of the
world in which we live.
So, too bad, Juanita. I guess you were right to keep your mouth shut
all those years. And let that be a lesson to the rest of you women out
there. Know your place.