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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Here He Comes Again, With Book and Smile

June 26, 2004

With Bill Clinton's "My Life" on the bookshelves this week, we can read of a scholarly president who grew up in a turbulent environment of lies and abuse but bonded with his family. He took care of his mother and defended her against abuse from his stepfather. Cared for his brother. He never really knew his father, never hated his stepfather, who was abusive toward his mother. Clinton is indeed sharp, caring and clever and was able to handle his presidency while battling personal affairs of which he is ashamed and which he has admitted to. Yes, he lied, but later confessed. This current administration has failed but never admitted to its failure.

Jeff Brown

Venice

What is more exasperating than to have a pleasant response to a nasty dig? Therein lies the hate of those who are so frustrated over seeing Clinton's return to the news. They were so hopeful they had buried him and his confounded popularity. He had always given them so little reason to justify their hate. Down deep, they always really wondered, anyway, if what he did in the Oval Office was so much worse than the marriage vows broken by his accuser politicians -- discovered and undiscovered. But it gave them reason to call loudly for a stoning, only to have him saved and his popularity restored in the light of his popular administration's record. Now, here he comes again, and the enemies' hate is still there, with his smile in return.

Mac Jolly

Mission Viejo

I am still appalled by Clinton's behavior in the White House and his attempt to categorize it as "not sex." I registered as an Independent shortly after that mess hit the news. I feel sorry for John Kerry (whom I plan on voting for this November), having to put up with this grandstanding by Clinton. Does this man have no shame?

Dave Gunall

Ventura

Clinton writes a memoir by himself and doesn't use ghostwriters like past presidents. He is not a "professional" writer. So his book is not literally perfect. As anyone who writes an autobiography will do -- even Jefferson -- Clinton chose to stress the good things he did. The result is that he gets attacked for not being a great writer and for minimizing certain negatives.

There are some who will always criticize whatever he does, no matter how good it might be. Get over it. He is no longer president. Give his book a fair shake and stop continuing your personal hatred of him.

Harold Einbinder

Long Beach

Finally a president who is honest, forthright, frank and candid. If only Clinton could have done this while in office instead of waiting to do it in his autobiography, "My Life."

Kenneth L. Zimmerman

Huntington Beach

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