(Washington, August 9) “My name is Bill, and I’m addicted to awards” – that was the shock admission from former US President Bill Clinton as he announced he was entering the Idi Amin Clinic for medal dependency.
Clinton has received countless honorary degrees and awards since he left office. This week President Barack Obama announced he had named Clinton as a recipient of this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.
But Clinton admitted that the medal would bring little satisfaction despite being America’s highest civilian honour.
“I have to have a new one at least once a week – a medal, an honorary degree or something similar – or I get desperate,” said Clinton. “Sometimes I roam the streets of small European countries just so they’ll put up a statue of me. I like the big ones best.”
A 10-foot-high statue of the former president giving what some unkind critics have described as a Nazi salute towers over Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. A more modest likeness of Clinton teeing off at golf commemorates his visit to the Irish coastal village of Ballybunion in 1998 at the corner of Main St and Church Rd.
Clinton has also received the US Medal for Distinguished Public Service, a J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, a TED Prize and a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
In June, Israeli President Shimon Peres awarded him with that country’s Presidential Medal of Distinction.
“The crazed need for public recognition and meaningless medals is a distressing condition common among former presidents which can lead to diary overload, travel sickness and the need for a specially-reinforced jacket,” said a counsellor at the Idi Amin Clinic.
“Feeding the addiction only encourages them to create elaborate fantasies in which they return to power through the election of a friend or family member – even a spouse.”
“Jimmy Carter has been treated here many times but is still hanging out with a nasty gang called The Elders wreaking all kinds of havoc,” he said.
“We are hoping we can wean Clinton off this dangerous dependency and onto healthier pursuits more becoming of his unique legacy, like drugs and sex,” he added.