Hot on the heels of former President Bill Clinton's recent speech at the Democratic National Convention, another holdover from the 1990s is planning a big rollout: Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky is reportedly shopping a $12 million tell-all book about her affair with the 42nd president.
Several publishers have expressed interest in the memoir. Ms. Lewinsky is expected to make public the letters she wrote to Mr. Clinton at the time, along with previously unknown details of their White House assignations.
The White House sex scandal led to Mr. Clinton's impeachment after he lied to a grand jury about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. The final years of Mr. Clinton's second term were painful for his presidency, his family, Ms. Lewinsky, and the nation.
Mr. Clinton left the White House with a tarnished moral legacy, but a relatively good economic record. Although it is difficult for many people who cheered his convention speech a few weeks ago to remember, Mr. Clinton was a deeply divisive figure at the end of his presidency. Vice President Al Gore distanced himself from his former boss when he ran unsuccessfully for president against George W. Bush in 2000.
Since then, Mr. Clinton has rehabilitated his reputation by becoming a respected elder statesman and founder of the Clinton Global Initiative. His wife, Hillary Clinton, is President Obama's secretary of State and the presumptive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
Meanwhile, Ms. Lewinsky faded into obscurity after a failed career in journalism and as chief executive officer of a handbag company. She fled the notoriety of America for obscurity in England, where she attended the London School of Economics and earned a master's degree.
Despite her world-class education, Ms. Lewinsky, 39, hasn't been able to land a job, possibly because of the stigma attached to her name. Her decision to exploit her notoriety for $12 million is understandable, but still tawdry.
Spilling the details of her affair for cold cash won't make her look more sympathetic. Ms. Lewinsky would be better off if the country were allowed to forget the details of the biggest mistake of her -- and Mr. Clinton's -- life. Her last shot at middle-aged dignity is slipping away.