Friday, June 02, 2006

Bill Clinton & His Moves

Eric Reguly at Britain's First Post writes that Bill Clinton's latest intramural relationship (*wink, wink*) doesn't help his wife's presidential ambitions:
As potential girlfriends go, Belinda Stronach would rank as a true catch. She is single, youngish (she just turned 40), attractive, wealthy, impeccably well-connected and politically ambitious - glamorous in every respect. Two years ago, Time magazine listed her as one of the 100 most powerful people on the planet. The tabloids cut to the chase: they called her the "blonde bombshell" or "Bubba's blonde."

Bubba, of course, is Bill Clinton. He has been photographed with Stronach (right) several times. The sightings seem to be getting more frequent, leading to press speculation that their relationship has moved beyond official "friendship" - the description used by Stronach's PR people - to true romance. Poor Hillary Clinton. In the run-up to her presidential campaign, the last thing the New York senator needs is lurid stories about her skirt-chasing husband.

Two years ago, the woman Canadians refer to as "Belinda" quit both her job as CEO of the C$10 billion Magna International auto parts empire (created by her father, Frank Stronach) and her then husband - Norwegian speed-skating champion Johann Koss - for politics.

Less than two years after seeking to lead the Tories, Belinda considered running for the Liberal leadership

She was elected in a Conservative riding (constituency) just north of Toronto. More important, despite supporting abortion rights, gun control and same-sex marriages, she ran for leadership of the Conservatives - but lost to the right-winger Stephen Harper.

A year later she crossed the floor to join the governing Liberal party and was rewarded with a minor cabinet post. Alas, in January 2006, after barely six months in government for Belinda, the Liberals lost power. Belinda, though, held on to her seat and, less than two years after seeking to lead the Tories, found herself considering running for the Liberal leadership. But in April, after sizing up the competitors, including former Observer columnist and BBC presenter Michael Ignatieff, she dropped out of the race.

Clinton may not care too much. An acquaintance of Belinda's says: "Bill was always more interested in her money than her breasts." Still, you can't help but wonder if his ultimate fantasy revolved around Hillary in the White House and Belinda running Canada: Which G8 leader should I visit this weekend?

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