Speaking with PBS’ Judy Woodruff last week, former president Bill Clinton, who has been accused of numerous actions targeting women from fondling to rape, offered what ranks as one of the most amazing Freudian slips of the 21st century. When asked by Woodruff about former Minnesota senator Al Franken leaving the Senate after sexual harassment allegations were made against him, Clinton opined, “I think the norms have really changed in terms of, what you can do to somebody against their will …”
The exchange went like this:
Woodruff: I assume you think that what happened with you was more serious than what happened with Senator — former Senator Al Franken. He was driven from office, from the U.S. Senate. So, norms have changed. Do you think that’s a good thing?
Clinton: Well, in general, I think it’s a good thing, yes. I think it’s a good thing that we should all have higher standards. I think the norms have really changed in terms of, what you can do to somebody against their will, how much you can crowd their space, make them miserable at work.
Clinton continued, “You don’t have to physically assault somebody to make them, you know, uncomfortable at work or at home or in their other — just walking around.”
Really? Ask Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and Leslie Millwee about that.
Clinton added: “That, I think, is good. I think that — I will be honest — the Franken case, for me, was a difficult case, a hard case. There may be things I don’t know. But I — maybe I’m just an old-fashioned person, but it seemed to me that there were 29 women on “Saturday Night Live” that put out a statement for him, and that the first and most fantastic story was called, I believe, into question. Too late to wade into it now. I mean, I think it’s a grievous thing to take away from the people a decision they have made, especially when there is an election coming up again. But it’s done now.”
He concluded, “And I think that all of us should just be focusing on how to do better and how to go forward.”