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Feeling his pain, taking his m&m's

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Step off. Bill Clinton has done nothing wrong, and y'all are just a bunch of player haters. Just because the guy worked hard on his last day at the office--a day most people would take a long farewell lunch and pretend to be touched by that We'll Miss You card signed by co-workers they don't know--everyone is all over him. And if anyone knows what it is like to work hard and do your best and still get picked on by the media, it's me. That's mostly because I'm paranoid and self-aggrandizing, but still, it allows me to feel his pain.

Sure, Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, a tax evader whose ex-wife donated tons to the Democratic Party and the Clinton library, but what kind of guy do you expect him to pardon? Republican carjackers who snubbed him in high school? Pardons by tradition are given to guilty people you like or at least served as Vice President under. And the argument that Rich didn't deserve a pardon because he never served any time is simply untrue. This guy was married for 25 years to the woman who wrote Sister Sledge's Frankie, which contains the lines "You walked me to the deli and/we sat in the booth where it all began./I looked into your big eyes and/I said to myself we could've had twins." Marc Rich served his time.

Clinton actually showed restraint with the pardons by not giving one to Michael Milken, Jonathan Pollard, Webb Hubbell and Ol' Dirty Bastard. And, if he had wanted, he could have fought to pardon himself. And that's the greatest pardon of all.

Yes, he took furniture from the White House. Of course he did. Think about what you steal from your job, and multiply it by White House. And those allegations about stealing linens, champagne flutes and toothpaste from Air Force One weren't even true, though they should have been. I was on Air Force One for one flight 3 1/2 years ago, and I'm still eating those M&M's with the White House insignia on the box. I grabbed everything I could: cards, napkins, fruit and, in a fit of glee, Helen Thomas. After eight years, it was only natural that the Clintons got attached to certain items, such as sofas, an ottoman, a needlepoint rug and absolute power.

The $100,000 speaking fee that Clinton took from Morgan Stanley may seem like a lot, but from an agent's point of view, it was totally shortsighted. He could have pocketed a lot more if he had just packaged himself somewhat differently. Bill Clinton Live at the Apollo could gross 10 times that with an extended run, not to mention the take he would get when HBO pieced together a one-hour special. It squeezed half an hour out of Margaret Cho material.

Sure, the first office Clinton wanted in Manhattan was estimated at $800,000 a year in rent, but when you figure the $1,300 a month I pay to live in this city with my girlfriend in a studio so small it often causes us to have sex by accident, I think it would have saved the taxpayer money in the long run to put a little square footage between Clinton and any assistants he hired. Plus he's got to run the country from somewhere. Trust me, this new guy ain't going to be doing it.



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Cover Date: February 26, 2001

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