Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor's review of ‘Boy Clinton’ by R. Emmett Tyrrel, Jr.

Abstract

During and subsequent to the Clinton presidency, the potent and personal metaphors of seduction and dating have been frequently evoked by commentators, biographers and memoirists to capture the President’s relationship with his advisers, staff, supporters, the media, and the American people. In this article, I examine why analysis of Clinton has been so personalized and visceral; I then place the reactions of commentators into three categories: supporters (the seduced), the disappointed (the jilted), and the critics (the disgusted). I argue that although this highly personalized commentary clearly has limitations and weaknesses, it remains a distinct feature of the Clinton era.