Readers React: Talking about Bill Clinton’s past distracts from Republican failures

Bill Clinton in New Hampshire

President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, in Nashua, N.H., on Jan. 4. 

(C.J. Gunther / EPA)

To the editor: Doyle McManus’ column shows us one of the big reasons why poor Jeb Bush is doing so poorly in the polls: With his party under the control of the far right, the Republicans would rather lob grenades at Bill and Hillary Clinton than actually win the election. Bill Clinton is fair game, McManus tells us. It’s as if his sexual history happened recently. (“Sadly, Trump is right in this case: Bill Clinton is fair game,” Opinion, Jan. 13)

Ah! A dream come true for the Clinton haters! Nearly 20 years ago, and the meter is still running. And the fun is just starting — again!

But what if Jeb Bush ends up winning the nomination? Those Clinton haters might be reminded of weapons of mass destruction that weren’t there, of Osama bin Laden getting away, of tall buildings falling to the ground, of torture that offended our allies’ standards of decency and of the bottom falling out of the economy. They probably didn’t find it funny when Vice President Dick Cheney shot his friend and his friend apologized — to him.

Now, those topics are kind of a downer. It’s so much more fun to be on offense.


Too bad McManus doesn’t have better sense than to fall for this.

Stan Brown, Victorville


To the editor: Hillary Clinton needs to put the business of her husband’s affairs behind her. She should address the public and Donald Trump’s taunting by saying the following:


“Yes, my husband cheated on me. It was the darkest time in my marriage, if not my life. Because we truly loved each other and our daughter, we sought counseling, worked through our problems and remained married. Today, our relationship is stronger than ever.”

End of conversation.

Hillary Clinton did what many other men and women do when their marriages are on the rocks — work it out. How is that considered enabling her husband’s abhorrent behavior?

Terrie McKinley, Aliso Viejo


To the editor: Perhaps Bill Clinton’s past is fair game, but whether that’s the case is not the best question to ask. The better question is where do we go from here?

I’m a small business owner and private investor. The Clinton years were, by far, the most prosperous of my lifetime.

Bill Clinton did a naughty thing; the Republican House voted to impeach him; the Senate declined to remove him; and the rest of us want to move on.


Sexual dalliance is wrong and politically unwise but not confined to one political party. Voters know this but seem more inclined to punish hypocrites than sinners. So Trump should take care what he asks for.

Delton Lee Johnson, Santa Paula


To the editor: If Hillary Clinton enabled her husband’s infidelity, then did she enable the eight years of economic boom during his presidency?

Using the same logic, if Jacqueline Kennedy enabled her husband’s affairs, then did she enable the successful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Was Eleanor Roosevelt responsible for leading the country to victory during World War II?

As one with multiple marriages and affairs, Trump is a poor judge of what makes a good marriage. As McManus states, voters decided long time ago about Bill Clinton — we like him a lot. Hillary Clinton should be judged on her own qualifications and character as a potential president and not as the wife of Bill Clinton.

Donna Handy, Santa Barbara 

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook


Get our weekly Opinion newsletter