When Hillary’s in D.C. and Bill’s alone in Chappaqua, he likes to curl up with Thomas a Kempis’ “The Imitation of Christ” or “Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics” by Reinhold Niebuhr. Poetry? It’s Eliot, Yeats or Angelou. Yeah, sure.
It’s exquisitely sculpted to cast him as the perfect New Democratic intellectual, with nods to every ethnic constituency, every intellectual pretension, and of course, with TS Eliot, the aging hippie stoner “Wow, like that stuff totally blew my mind, man — it’s like, uber-groovy” contingent. It’s also (as all such lists are) perfectly false. I find it impossible to believe, for example, that WB Yeats is your favorite poet if you are not Irish. I find it doubly impossible to believe that TS Eliot (Four Quartets) is actually one of Bill Clinton’s 21 favorite books. Politicians might as well title these lists “people whose names will make me look smart to intellectuals and inoffensive to voters” and be done with it.
I can believe he likes Yeats. I can’t believe T.S. Eliot and Maya Angelou on the same list.