Bill Clinton may be a liar, but he’s a forgivable liar. At least, that’s what a recent 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll suggests.
According to Politico, the poll asked 1,018 adult Americans which of four Americans caught in notable, high-profile lies they would be willing to forgive. Bill Clinton led the way with 43 percent of the vote.
Of course, his competition wasn’t exactly stiff. The other liars Bill Clinton was competing against included Lance Armstrong, Richard Nixon and Bernie Madoff.
For those who haven’t followed along, Armstrong – who placed second on the list of forgivable liars with 22 percent – enthralled the world with his story of overcoming cancer and going on to win a record seven Tours de France. Armstrong became almost synonymous with LIVESTRONG, the charity he represented.
His Tour de France titles – and a number of other awards – were stripped from him when it was discovered he had used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong is on record saying that it was impossible to win the Tour de France without taking PEDs. Ironically, he also compared his situation to that of Bill Clinton.
Richard Nixon, of course, was caught spying on Democratic rivals – and then trying to cover up his nefarious activities – in the infamous Watergate scandal that led to his 1974 resignation from the American presidency.
Bernie Madoff was caught running a $64.8 billion Ponzi scheme. Many believe his investment scam was the largest single financial fraud in US history. Madoff pled guilty and was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his crimes.
So, if the poll is to be taken at face value, Americans are willing to give a pass to a man cheating on his wife and lying about it, but not for lying in an attempt to win in athletics, politics or business. Of course, not all Americans played along. More than one in ten – 11 percent – said that they wouldn’t be willing to forgive any of the famous lies.
In the same poll, 56 percent of Americans told 60 Minutes that you should always tell the truth and 43 percent claimed that they would not be tempted to lie about their past, their salary, their age, their relationship or their job. There were no statistics for what percentage would be tempted to lie in a poll.
Former President Bill Clinton’s victory in the Most Forgivable Liar poll comes amidst speculation that his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky could reach across the years to cause his wife headaches should she choose to run for president in 2016.
According to a Fox News report, former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton currently enjoys the largest lead ever for a candidate going into the Democratic primary process. Her support is at 73 percent.
What do you think? Is Bill Clinton a forgivable liar? What about Armstrong, Nixon and Madoff? Will Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky – and his very public lies about it – come back to affect Hillary in 2016?