Well, this sounds awkward: According to ABC News, Rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles’ Sinai Temple, where Monica Lewinsky and her family were members for decades, will deliver the benediction at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday (Sept. 5) night. So who’s up before him? None other than former President Bill Clinton.
Wolpe, who was named the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek, was highly critical of Clinton in the ’90s over his relationship with Lewinsky, a then 24-year-old White House intern.
“He was a brilliant, talented, extraordinary child, and for the leader of the United States we need an adult,” Wolpe told his congregation, according to the Associated Press in 1998. He also said that Clinton needed to “cleanse his soul.”
In 2009, Wolpe wrote a piece for the Washington Post reflecting on the events.
“During the Lewinsky scandal, it was the lying and smearing of Monica Lewinsky that marked the low point of the event, not the sex, which was primarily an issue for the individuals and families involved,” he writes then.
As for Wednesday’s prayer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that Wolpe “will focus on the ideals animating the United States.”