Monday, July 20, 2020

Reality Distortion Field Engaged: Resistance Is Not Futile But Rare

Today’s post was inspired by a comment left by Upcountrywater a few days back regarding the legendary charm of William Jefferson Clinton (nee Blythe). It is from an interview author Tom Clancy did with Foreign Policy News ahead of the 2008 presidential election in which he spoke of many politicians on scene and had this to say about Bill Clinton:

“His charm is like a physical force. Ever been in the ocean and have the waves come across you? That’s what his charm is like. If I was a girl, I would have gotten laid that night. But you sense talking to him he has no character. None. The secret service despised Hillary. They just disliked Clinton. He shit on the military pretty comprehensively. It didn’t do the country any serious harm because he didn’t care about anything enough to do any harm. I’ve never run into anybody quite like that before.”

Now if you’ve never met Bill Clinton you might think that Clancy was employing an author’s poetic license to describe the power of the man’s ability to “throw a glamour” as Pbird put it. However people who have met Clinton will confirm he possesses strong seductive powers.

It’s sometimes referred to as “Reality Distortion Field” (RDF)—an aura of charisma, confidence, and persuasion, in which people report it almost impossible to avoid surrendering to the man and following his will when interacting face-to-face. Steve Jobs was said to have it, but he’s a piker compared to Bill Clinton. I have met Mr. Clinton and I assure you, Mr. Clancy was not exaggerating. Even if you are immune to such charm – and few people are – you will still recognize it and it will awe you.

Take my Father-in-Law for example, a man who never once seriously contemplated voting for a Democrat in all of his 95 years on the planet. Not even JFK who was strongly favored by his Catholic Parish “Circle” friends and definitely the choice of my Irish-Catholic Mother-in-Law. Nope: Eisenhower, Nixon, Goldwater, Ford, Reagan…you get the picture. But in addition to being a capital ‘R’ Republican, Pop really disliked Bill Clinton; not as intently as people with TDS loath Trump, but definitely not in the  FOB (Fan of Bubba) camp.

However, when he was invited to to meet the President at a VIP ground-breaking for the new multi-billion dollar Detroit Metro Airport expansion (Raj was Airport Director at the time) he was thrilled. Possibly more so because of Raj than Bubba, but still thrilled.

Al Checchi, Northwest CEO,  Bill Clinton, Ed McNamara, Wayne County CEO 1996

So when Raj got us to the front of the line to shake hands with the man he’d disparaged for years Pop stepped up, looked the President in the eye, grabbed his outstretched hand with both of his, pumped it hard a few times and said… “you’re doing a great job Mr. President!”

Of course we all laughed about it afterwards. “The Handshake” became a topic at many family gatherings in subsequent election years and I suspect will become part of Raj’s family lore: “the time Grandpa shook President Clinton’s hand and told him he was great.” Although it’s likely to take on a different, more reverential tone as it is passed down to future generations as the family seems these days to consist of more hardcore Dems than R’s.

My Father-in-Law, who had a great sense of humor, always enjoyed relaying the story himself; he’d tell how Clinton would zero in on you with his mesmerizing eye contact, reach towards you intimately but not intimidatingly and fleetingly beguile you into believing that he’d come to meet you, exclusively.

Hello Pop!

When lesser humans - without the gift of “throwing a glamour” - try to do this they always come off as creepy. We’ve all met people like that, who can’t pull it off.

Former VP, Creepy Joe Biden Can Barely Fill a Union Hall at a ...

In the same interview cited above Tom Clancy commented on Joe Biden as well: “I’ve met Joe Biden. I don’t think he’s all that bright. He’s pleasant but he’s not bright.” In his waning years he’s not even pleasant anymore. And don’t even get me started on Hillary. I’ve written before about my one and only encounter with her in the 90s. Suffice to say for every dram of Bill’s charm and charisma Hillary provides an equal and opposite reaction. Truly the most anti-charismatic I’ve ever encountered.  But that’s another story.

Pop would always say that although he’d been a salesman his entire life he’d never run into anyone with as much charismatic power as Bill. He also said that if he’d been blessed with had even half of it he’d have been the richest man in town.

That is undoubtedly the truth. 


When you think about it, people who possess Reality Distortion Field powers to one extent or another explains an awful lot about what goes on in politics. While resistance is not entirely futile, it apparently it is for some.

Here is one of the few documented instances of a human demonstrating immunity to the infamous Clinton RDF: