Maddow: Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned

A few months back, Rachel Maddow was a guest on Ezra Klein’s Vox.com podcast.

The entire interview is well worth a listen (find it here), especially if you’re interested in the odd path, full of zigzags, that eventually led Rachel to a prime-time slot in cable news. I particularly enjoyed hearing about her stints in radio — which included, of all things, a spot on an FM “Morning Zoo” show [insert clown horn sound effect and cartoon whistle].

But Ezra truly struck podcast gold when he asked her for examples of opinions she holds that she concedes most people disagree with.

Among them, this:

I think that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency because of his sexual impropriety with an intern. I think that’s not a popular view [laughs]. But I think that … because it was somebody who was in his employ, it was wrong enough that it was an affront to the presidency.

She goes on to say that a Clinton resignation, in turn leading to an Al Gore presidency, wouldn’t have been a bad option for the country. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, Democrats today might agree. Had Al Gore taken over Clinton’s presidency in 1998, I think it’s much more likely he’d have won outright in 2000.

That means no Dubya. No Cheney. No enhanced interrogations.

Maybe no 9/11 — if you believe Richard Clarke.

Of course, Rachel Maddow saying Bill Clinton should have resigned isn’t the same thing as her supporting his impeachment. I doubt she did.

But here’s credit where credit’s due: her view seems to me to be a principled, feminist — indeed, progressive — take on Bill Clinton’s behavior.

Meanwhile, here’s the relevant audio, excerpted from “The Ezra Klein Show” podcast: