by Peter Freyne
The most popular wife-cheating, skirt-chaser to occupy the Oval Office since John Fitzgerald Kennedy was in Vermont on Sunday to give the keynote address at the Middlebury College Graduation.
William Jefferson Clinton.
I was able to catch a chunk of the speech live online [right] on Sunday morning. That's GOP Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas [left] on Ch. 3's "You Can Quote Me."
Quite a doubleheader, eh?
Of course, Big Bill does have a Middlebury connection - sort of. Middlebury College grad Ron Brown was President Clinton's Secretary of Commerce.
And before that, Sec. Brown had the job fellow New Yorker, former physician and once-upon-a-time Vermont Gov. Howard Dean now performs so well - chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Brown, a native of Harlem, as opposed to Ho-Ho's Upper East Side roots, was killed in a plane crash on an official mission in wartime Croatia in 1996.
Remarkably, President Clinton, unlike the current occupant of the White House - George "WMD" Bush - does have first-hand experience with impeachment, but I did not see it mentioned in the news coverage.
What was his alleged "high crime and misdemeanor?"
No bombshells here, folks. President Clinton the Ist lied under oath in a civil lawsuit about living out his sexual fantasies with Monica, the twentysomething White House aide. Of course, that happened before most of the Middlebury graduates seated before him on Sunday had even entered puberty. Besides, as long as his wife Hillary stayed with him...?
Press reports of the Clinton speech are, for the most part quite, similar as they should be. Bill was there to preach "community," urging the grads to recognize our similarities rather than our differences. He noted we human animals are genetically 99.9 percent the same!
But only Ch. 3's Andy Potter put Clinton's line connecting that "99.9 percent similarity" to right-wing radio talk show motormouth Rush Limbaugh [left] in his report. The Dinglebury grads of 2007 may not be aware, but Ol' Rush built his gazillion-dollar radio talk show empire off of what some would call Bill's "zipper problem."
Said President Clinton the First:
"I met Rush Limbaugh the other night in New York, and I was tempted after all the terrible things he said about me to tell him we were 99.9 percent the same." -- long laughter -- "I was afraid the poor man would run weeping from the restaurant, and so I let it go."
***UPDATED Monday 10:30 a.m.***
Inspired, no doubt, by my interesting 2007 engagement with cancer, I've heard myself saying frequently of late that life is all about how well you play the cards dealt you. Not many of us get four aces in their opening hand, and many of those that do end up blowing it all anyway.
And that thought was back in the center square of the Ol' Freyne Brain this morning when my Memorial Day plans ran into a roadblock. [Painting at right is Galisteo by sister Maureen in Santa Fe. Nice, eh?)
I was going to shoot down to Vergennes to catch the Memorial Day Parade there. It's an annual event on my political calendar because it usually draws an interesting crew of pols even in a non-election year. Gov. Scissorhands will march. 'Course this year, Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch (his designated successor?) are on a Middle East congressional info-junket and won't be there. Still, I assume Sen. Bernie Sanders would show, doing his proverbial, independent, one-man march and wave. And Mr. Mainstream Vermont Radical is always good to take a few questions.
Plus, I'd heard representatives of VT Veterans for Peace were going to march - carrying a casket to represent the 3435 of their comrades who died for the Bush Administration's Big Bad Iraq Lie.
I always bring my bike to cover the Vergennes March. Mobility. Gets me around to take as much in as possible. But not this year. I took the wheels off the bike and toss it in my trunk. But still I need to get the back seat to fold down to make the necessary space.
Only one half would. Believe me, I tried.
Then I tried lowering the bike seat.
The latch, however, like half of the car back seat, simply would not budge!
The appropriate profanities followed, as well as one of those "light-in-the-brain" realizations that maybe there's a message here, Pedro?
Maybe you're not supposed to cover this year's Vergennes Parade. Maybe you'd fall and crack your skull (since you can't find your bike helmet), or maybe there'd be another similarly unfortunate circumstance?
In fact, before falling asleep last night, there was a seed of doubt that sprouted out of nowhere about today's Vergennes plans.
That's what I thought.
These "tea leaves" seemed obvious. We'll go with the flow. Besides, I have a Vermont Business Magazine column due today. This will make making that deadline a lot easier.
One day at a time.