Monica Lewinsky’s Former Rabbi To Give Benediction At DNC After Clinton’s Speech

Well here’s an interesting little DNC programming note: LA-based Rabbi David Wolpe will deliver a benediction at the Democratic National Convention tonight after former president Bill Clinton gives his much-anticipated speech.

And it seems the two have a common acquaintance: White House intern-turned-purse designer Monica Lewinsky.

From ABC News:

Not only was Wolpe the Lewinsky family’s rabbi, he also sharply condemned President Clinton at the time his sexual relationship with Lewinsky, then a 24-year-old White House intern, was dominating national headlines.

“He was a brilliant, talented, extraordinary child, and for the leader of the United States we need an adult,” Rabbi Wolpe told his temple, according to a 1998 Associated Press account. He said Clinton needed to “cleanse his soul.”

And other news reports from the time noted that Wolpe accused Clinton of hiding behind a “flinty legalistic apology,” for his romantic dalliances with the young intern.

The Lewinsky Scandal was, of course, not exactly the most shining moment of Clinton’s presidency (Although it did manage to inspire a weary nation to, finally, have a real discussion about what the definition of the word “is” is, so. Silver Lining.), and, while Wolpe is a much-respected and influential rabbi, it’s a wonder that the convention organizers went with an individual with ties to a rather embarrassing footnote in Clinton’s recent past.

h/t ABC News

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