Please, Lance, just stop talking.
Less than two months after confessing to Oprah about his years of lying and cheating and suing everyone he knows, Lance Armstrong just won’t let us move on, comparing himself to former U.S. president Bill Clinton in a new interview.
“[Clinton] is a tough guy, he's smart, surrounded himself with good people. And ten years later, he's president of the world. It can be done,” Armstrong told Texas Monthly, proving that he really has no idea how badly he screwed up.
“Ultimately, people forgive and forget and remember the good stuff you did,” Armstrong said. “Is it hard to do? Yeah. But Clinton did it. He loves to work, he loves people, he loves to hustle.”
If I can speak for all Armstrong-supporters turned scorned, angry ex-fans, we won’t be remembering the “good stuff” (especially since Livestrong has completely cut all ties with the disgraced cylist). We’ll never forgive you - but it’d be nice to just forget, if you’d let us.
The comparison is truly ludicrous. Removing the lies from the equation, Clinton still would have been president. Armstrong, on the other hand, never would have achieved his level of greatness or fame had he not lied - for a decade! - about his doping.
To be clear, for me, what Bill Clinton did was unforgivable: I yelled at my television screen during his standing ovation at the DNC. The former president told a big fat lie (can’t you still hear him pleading about “sexual relations”?) - and only when that pesky blue dress appeared, did he change his story.
I’m unable to separate personal behaviour from professional persona (ask Ryan Lochte). I can’t take Clinton seriously, and will never be able to trust a word he says.
But in fine politician form, Clinton seems to have magically made most of the world forget about the incident. He displayed the charm, the charisma of appearing truly sorry for his sins - and then kept being a great president. His legacy may include just a tiny footnote about some woman named Monica.
More importantly, his lying, cheating ways are the last thing Clinton would ever talk about in an interview. Clinton is - at least on surface level - an excellent reformer, and gave people many new reasons to like him. Armstrong, on the other hand, can’t seem to shut up.
A better “hero” for Lance might be David Letterman. Do we even still remember that he cheated on his wife with an intern? Hardly. Because he admitted his mistake on national television, apologized on the spot, and then went back to being a funny late night TV host.
The worst part of his self-imposed presidential comparison? Lance gives this new interview in the past tense, as if that whole unfortunate doping thing is some distant memory. It is all very much too soon.