In his book about Bill Clinton -- No one left to lie to : the triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton -- Christopher Hitchens tells the story about the sacking of Dr. Lani Guinier as the nominee for the position of DOJ's Head the Civil Rights Division. He quotes the following passage from Dr. Guinier's book, where she relates an effort to prevent her sacking:

Vernon Jordan told me he could be helpful with Senator Alan Simpson. During a relaxed one-on-one meeting in his law office, Vernon had offered to meet or call Simpson on my behalf should that become necessary. When Vernon was subsequently asked to follow up with Simpson, he reportedly said, "I don't do that kind of thing."

  • page 44

Hitchens then continues:

Oh but he does, he does...When the rich and spoiled daughters of donors and fund-raisers are given affirmative-action jobs at the White House, Mr. Jordan can't do enough of that kind of thing.

  • page 45

To which specific cases is he alluding here?

  • 4
    No, I will not invent anything in a quote that wasn't there in the original. And I'm not convinced there was irony involved at all; the relevant chapter and passage certainly deal with race.
    – Hitch-22
    May 1, 2019 at 14:24
  • You might start here: clinton.presidentiallibraries.us/whstaff
    – AllInOne
    May 1, 2019 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


One example, actually given in Hitchens' book, would be the daughter of Nathan Landow. On page 18, Hitchens wrote:

"... of course, Mr Landow's daughterwoks at the White House, causing nobody to ask how she got her job. In Clinton's Washington there is always affirmative action for such people"

Landow was Maryland Democratic Party Chairman, and a major fundraiser for the Democrats. Further, according to the article Good old reliable Nathan in the Weekly Standard:

He has been business partners with Vernon Jordan

I suspect that he is also referring to Monica Lewinsky.

In an article titled 'It's not the Sin; It's the Cynicism', published in Vanity Fair in December 1998, Hitchens wrote:

"... Ms. Monica Lewinsky, who--we forget at our peril--got her "job" at the White House only because her mother’s chum had kicked in the better part of half a million to the D.N.C. (There is, in Clinton’s Washington, always affirmative action for such cupcakes.) ..."

  • article text quoted in full Ontology site of the Philosophy Department, State University of New York at Buffalo

Given the similarities in both the choice of words and the context, it seems likely that is was also Ms Lewinsky that Hitchens was referring to in the book.

However, it is worth noting that Vernon Jordan claimed that he had only done two things for Monica Lewinsky:

I did two things for Ms. Monica Lewinsky.

I assisted her in trying to find employment in the private sector in New York City. I referred her for interviews at American Express and at Revlon, where I am privileged to serve as a director. I also referred her to Young & Rubicam, a New York advertising agency.

Secondly, when she was served with the subpoena and -- at her request, I recommended a very competent Washington lawyer, Mr. Frank Carter. I actually took her to Mr. Carter's office, I introduced them, and I returned to my office.

As far as I am aware, he hasn't stated explicitly that he helped Ms Lewinsky get her job as an intern at the White House.

  • That is a really great answer, thank you very much. I didn't remember the quote about Nathan Landow from the preface to this book anymore. But I think this bit in particular helps explain why Hitchens later, in the section I quoted, didn't name names anymore - he already did earlier.
    – Hitch-22
    May 2, 2019 at 16:40

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