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03.27.13

Bill Clinton: Still Shaky on the Truth

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Bob Shrum takes Bubba to task!

I wrote in No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner about Bill Clinton’s 2004 advice to John Kerry that he should consider supporting a ban on same sex marriage. I’m obviously not the only source: Newsweek independently reported the story eight years ago. My book came out six years ago and no one denied the accounts then or since then—until now. A Clinton spokesman told The New York Times that the anecdote was completely false. But the story is true and I stand by it. The long silence speaks more powerfully than a pro forma, convenient denial at this late date.

I don’t even see the point of the denial. Attempting to rewrite the history—tortured rationalizations for Clinton’s signing of the Defense of Marriage Act in the first place, a reflex defensiveness about advice in 2004 that was wrong in principle and even politically—seems a futile effort to redeem a tarnished part of a presidential legacy.