For Monica Lewinsky, politics are always personal. The former White House intern, now 40, recently broke her silence on her infamous 1998 affair with then-President Bill Clinton, putting pen to paper for a revealing essay in the June issue of Vanity Fair. Among the many revelations and insights she shared was her anxiety over Hillary Clinton's possible presidential run in 2016.
"Like many other Americans, I've been thinking about Hillary Clinton," Lewinsky wrote. "What might happen, I've wondered, if she does run in 2016. And what if she wins—and then wins a second term? But when I think about these matters, there's a dimension at play for me other than just the fact that we might finally have a woman in the White House."
Lewinsky—who became a pop-culture punchline in the wake of the scandal—said she "remained virtually reclusive" when the former First Lady put in a bid for the White House against Barack Obama in 2008. Recently, she continued, she's found herself "gun-shy yet again, fearful of 'becoming an issue' should [Hillary] decide to ramp up her campaign" for office.
"When I hear of Hillary's prospective candidacy, I cannot help but fear the next wave of paparazzi, the next wave of 'Where is she now?' stories, the next reference to me in Fox News' coverage of the primaries," Lewinsky explained. "I've begun to plot out the cycle of my life based, to some degree, on the political calendar. For me, it's a scenario in which the personal and the political are impossible to separate."
So why speak out now? Opening up in Vanity Fair essentially negates the need for future "Where is she now?" stories and ensures that she won't have to put her life "on hold for another 8 to 10 years" if the former Secretary of State decides to run for office again.
"I am determined to have a different ending to my story," she wrote in the magazine. "I've decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past."