Archive for the ‘Bill Clinton’ Tag

How To Be Unemployable   3 comments

Bill Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks, from the National Portrait Gallery

Bill Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks, from the National Portrait Gallery

Yesterday, this blog set a record for traffic. One particular page got most of the views: the Bill Clinton page from my Presidential Portraits series.

What happened?

There was big news yesterday about the Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

Mr. Shanks revealed an “Easter egg” in the painting … a 10-year old secret that only he knew until yesterday.

The secret? He had put a blue dress on a mannequin to cast a shadow onto the scene he was painting – all while Clinton was not in the room posing for him. This blue dress shadow, which is memorialized below the plant on the mantle to the viewer’s left of Clinton, represents the Monica Lewinsky scandal to Mr. Shanks.

So, yesterday he revealed why there was a shadow in the painting. This announcement did a few things:

  • explained the reason for a shadow across the portrait (me, I just thought it was art).
  • re-invigorated the Monica Lewinsky scandal for Mr Shanks’ gain
  • made his future employment by any prominent person suspect … I mean, who needs this kind of grief when you’re paying a portraitist as much as $200,000 for a full length painting?

I’m sure President Clinton regrets posing for the obviously untrustworthy Shanks. I don’t know who actually paid for this portrait (paintings of Presidents for the National Portrait Gallery or the White House – the two most prominent collections – are often paid for by anonymous donors), but I’m sure they regret that decision as well.


Portraits: Bill Clinton

NBC News: Bill Clinton Portrait Has Hidden Monica Lewinsky Portrait Bill Clinton’s Portrait Includes Symbolic Nod To Lewinsky Affair

Portraits: Bill Clinton   6 comments

Bill Clinton, Official White House Photo

Bill Clinton, Official White House Photo

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (1946 – )

The 42nd President of the United States, 1993 – 2001

AKA: Bubba, Slick Willy, The First Black President, The Comeback Kid, The Big Dog

From: Arkansas

College: Georgetown, Oxford, Yale

Married to: Hillary Rodham

Children: Chelsea

Party: Democratic

Previous Jobs: Campaign worker, teacher, Attorney General of Arkansas, Governor of Arkansas

In His Words:  “I end tonight where it all began for me: I still believe in a place called Hope.”

Bill Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks, from the National Portrait Gallery

Bill Clinton portrait by Nelson Shanks, from the National Portrait Gallery. This portrait suddenly became controversial 10 years after its unveiling … see the link “How To Be Unemployable,” below.

“Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

“When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two — and didn’t like it — and didn’t inhale and never tried inhaling again.”

“The road to tyranny, we must never forget, begins with the destruction of the truth.”

“Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never. These allegations are false, and I need to go back to work for the American people.”

“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the—if he—if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. … Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

“A preemptive action today, however well-justified, may come back with unwelcome consequences in the future. And because … I’ve done this. I’ve ordered these kinds of actions — I don’t care how precise your bombs and your weapons are, when you set them off, innocent people will die.”

“Being president is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening.”

Not true: In a shameless campaign speech for Obama in 2012, Clinton criticized Mitt Romney’s truthfulness:

“You’re laughing, but who wants a president who will knowingly, repeatedly tell you something he knows is not true?” Clinton asked, after discounting a claim in a recent Romney ad that the Obama administration’s auto bailout hurt American workers.

“When I was a kid, if I got my hand caught in the cookie jar, where it wasn’t supposed to be, I turned red in my face, and I took my hand out of the cookie jar,” Clinton added.

True: The future President was born William Jefferson Blythe III in Hope, Arkansas, but his father died in a traffic accident. When he was four years old, his mother wed Roger Clinton, of Hot Springs, Arkansas. In high school, he took the family name.

The Clinton family had a cat named Sox … the first Presidential pet to have its own website.

Paula Jones brought a sexual harassment suit against Clinton while he was President, for acts against her while Clinton was Governor of Arkansas. Clinton settled for $850,000.

Bill Clinton was the first President to appoint his First Lady to head a Presidential commission.

Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern, had a sexual relationship with Clinton. The result of this affair was Clinton being impeached by the House of Representatives – the first elected President to be impeached. In the Senate, he was acquitted of all charges.

He was the first President to use the Line-Item Veto.

The Official Portrait: When Simmie Knox unveiled his portrait of Bill (as well as one of Hillary) Clinton in 2004, he became the first African American to paint an official White House Portrait of a President.

Bill Clinton, official Presidential Portrait

Bill Clinton signature


How To Be Unemployable

Philadelphia Inquirer

The President and the Boy Scouts   Leave a comment

Gerald R Ford, Eagle Scout, 1929

Gerald R Ford, Eagle Scout, 1929

Every President since its 1910 founding has served as the honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of America.

Teddy Roosevelt, newly ex-President in 1910 was given the unique title of “Chief Scout Citizen.”

5 Presidents, or half of the Presidents that could have been Scouts, were actually Scouts:

John F Kennedy, Star Scout, 1930

John F Kennedy, Star Scout, 1930

John F Kennedy, the first President born in the 20th Century, was the first who was a Boy Scout as a youth. He rose to the rank of Star.

Gerald Ford was the first and only Eagle Scout to become President.

Bill Clinton and George W Bush were both Cub Scouts.

Barack Obama was a member of the Indonesian Scout Association; he was the equivalent of a Cub Scout.

The link below chronicles the support of Scouting rendered by all Presidents, from Teddy Roosevelt forward.

More Presidents Fact Sheet

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