(WASHINGTON) -- In the days after President Bill Clinton revealed his fling with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton went dark, not even speaking to her close friend and ally, University of Arkansas political science professor Diane Blair.
But when she re-emerged, Clinton revealed to her friend a personal and public struggle.
Her thoughts and words are documented in the newly revealed account from Blair’s diaries, which were first reported Monday by the conservative publication the Washington Free Beacon.
In Blair’s account of their conversation, Clinton says she didn’t take responsibility for what her husband did, but even in private she sought to explain his behavior.
1. Hillary had friends, “he does not”
“She has staff she can vent with … she has friends like me she totally and completely trusts,” Blair wrote in Sept. 1998. “He does not. Anything he says gets leaked to the world.”
Bill Clinton’s actions were a “huge personal lapse,” but Hillary still sought to put it in “context.” She blamed the pressures of the job, personal tragedies, including the loss of his mother and her father, and her inability to be free enough to be there for him.
“She thinks she was not smart enough, not sensitive enough, not free enough of her own concerns and struggles to realize the price he was paying,” Blair added.
2. “Not sex within any real meaning of the term”
As for Lewinsky, Clinton slammed her as a “narcissistic loony toon” and credited Bill Clinton with trying to “break it off” and “manage” Lewinsky.
But as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., reminded the world last week, the relationship between Bill Clinton and Lewinsky, who at the time was in her early 20s, has been viewed by some as an older powerful man taking advantage of a susceptible young woman.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, believed the relationship as entirely consensual, and even questioned whether the sex was meaningful.
“And, HRC insists, no matter what people say, it was gross inappropriate behavior but it was consensual (was not a power relationship) and was not sex within any real meaning (standup, liedown, oral, etc.) of the term,” Blair writes.
3. The shrink’s point of view
The chattering class wasn’t alone in psychoanalyzing Bill Clinton’s motivations. Hillary seemed interested in clues about his behavior as well.
She relayed the findings to her friend.
“As an aside, they got a letter from a psychologist who does family therapy and sexual infidelity problems: most men with fidelity problems raised by two women and felt conflicted between them,” Blair wrote, referring to the president’s mother and grandmother. “He’d read about Bill’s bio; grandmother despised Virginia, tried to get custody of Bill; Bill adored by his mother, but she left him, etc. etc.”
4. Stand by her man
As many on the outside wondered how and why Clinton decided to stand by her man, Blair reveals that the decision was made out of a dual concern for her family and daughter Chelsea, as well as finishing their work in the Clinton administration.
“He has been her best friend for 25 years, her husband for 23 years, the’r econnected [sic] in every way imaginable,” Blair wrote. “She feels strongly about him and family and Chelsea and marriage and she’s just got to try to work it through.”
“Bill has done brilliant things as president; she believes in those issues and causes and will continue to fight for them,” she added.
5. “Partly her pride”
“I’m a proud women,” Clinton says, according to Blair’s diary in a 1996 entry.
That turns out to be a large part of the explanation for how she handled the scandal.
Ultimately, Blair determined that Hillary Clinton was okay.
“So — she’s in it for long haul,” Blair notes. “Partly because she’s stubborn; partly her upbringing; partly her pride — but, mostly because she knows who she is and what her values and priorities are and she’s straight with those — she really is okay.”
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