Hitchens on the ‘Horrible Primate,’ Bill Clinton

A collection of the late, great polemicist's Clinton smack downs

Bill Clinton / Christopher Hitchens


President Bill Clinton will speak Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in a vaunted primetime speaking slot. The late Christopher Hitchens would have likely had at least a few words about the speech — he described Clinton as a "horrible primate" and "very reptilian," among many other things. Here are five smack downs from the writer on the Clintons:

1. The Clintons have ‘never met a foreign political donor they don't like and haven't taken from'

"If there were some foreign policy experience or brilliance that Hillary Clinton had ever shown, maybe we overlook the fact that she and her husband have never met a foreign political donor they don’t like and haven’t taken from… See if you can bear to read the sort of friendships that a former president is having. It’s undignified to think about it."

2. ‘He just is what he is. He’s a horrible primate.' (Video begins at 0:45)

INTERVIEWER (2008):  Did Hillary Clinton’s character catch up to her in this race, do you think?

HITCHENS:  No, but I think her husband’s really did.  I mean, very impressive to me the number of people who wouldn’t listen to me a year ago who now couldn’t say enough about how cheap and nasty and cynical and brutish and vulgar and crass and course, crude, nasty, unscrupulous, mendacious Clinton is…There’s nothing tragic about him. He just is what he is. He’s a horrible primate.

3. ‘A really arrogant, contemptible, dishonest president'

"He’s humiliated the Presidency. He’s disgraced his office. He’s been hissing in the byword. Al Gore and his wife have long known what an awful human being, what a lousy president he is. Now they don’t have to keep pretending otherwise….They knew what a really arrogant, contemptible, dishonest president they have."

4. The public and private face of Bill Clinton is ‘very reptilian'

ALLEN GREGG: "The general assessment is that this may be a man who is flawed, his character may be flawed, but look at his record, look at his administration. It’s kind of the bad man, good president thesis. But you say that the public and private face of Bill Clinton are one and the same."

HITCHENS: "Very much so, and both of them very reptilian."

5. Clinton ‘would cram marijuana into himself by way of brownies and cookies'

"…I don’t remember it particularly, the moment when Clinton didn’t inhale, which for those of you who don’t know, is the moment when, because he’s allergic to smoke and doesn’t inhale anyway, when he would cram marijuana into himself by way of brownies and cookies."

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