In their abiding affection for William Jefferson Clinton, most Americans seem to forget that he was impeached by a Republican Congress a mere 16 years ago. You would think that such formal disapprobriation would leave a lasting political scar of disgrace. But you would be wrong.


I’ve always considered it one of our nation’s great political ironies that Clinton’s approval rating, as measured by the Gallup poll, hit a high of 73 percent on the very day he was impeached. That was a higher rating than Ronald Reagan ever achieved. And Clinton’s approval rating in January, 2001, was the highest of any U.S. president upon leaving office.


Even today, Clinton’s approval rating among Americans equals that of Pope Francis.


What makes this man so immune from what Shakespeare called the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? The answer, it says HERE, is his love of politics:


Even when heís not running, heís running ó exuberantly, indefatigably, for just causes, for lost causes, because he hopes to move the needle, because he loves the sound of his own voice and because he doesnít know any other way to be. Politics is his calling. The arena is his home.


And thatís the real reason that heís so popular in his post-presidency, so beloved in both retrospect and the moment…


Nothing stops him or slows him or sours him, at least not for long. Nothing is beneath him, because heís as unabashedly messy and slick as the operators all around him. He doesnít recoil at the rough and tumble, or feel belittled and diminished by it. He relishes it. Throw a punch at him and he throws one at you. Impeach him and he bounces back.


In their abiding affection for William Jefferson Clinton, most Americans seem to forget that he was impeached by a Republican Congress a mere 16 years ago. You would think that such formal disapprobriation would leave a lasting political scar of disgrace. But you would be wrong.

I’ve always considered it one of our nation’s great political ironies that Clinton’s approval rating, as measured by the Gallup poll, hit a high of 73 percent on the very day he was impeached. That was a higher rating than Ronald Reagan ever achieved. And Clinton’s approval rating in January, 2001, was the highest of any U.S. president upon leaving office.

Even today, Clinton’s approval rating among Americans equals that of Pope Francis.

What makes this man so immune from what Shakespeare called the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? The answer, it says HERE, is his love of politics:

Even when heís not running, heís running ó exuberantly, indefatigably, for just causes, for lost causes, because he hopes to move the needle, because he loves the sound of his own voice and because he doesnít know any other way to be. Politics is his calling. The arena is his home.

And thatís the real reason that heís so popular in his post-presidency, so beloved in both retrospect and the moment…

Nothing stops him or slows him or sours him, at least not for long. Nothing is beneath him, because heís as unabashedly messy and slick as the operators all around him. He doesnít recoil at the rough and tumble, or feel belittled and diminished by it. He relishes it. Throw a punch at him and he throws one at you. Impeach him and he bounces back.