Lance Armstrong is still talking about Lance Armstrong and all that now entails, including shame, forgiveness and heroes.
Armstrong remains troubled by his current highly-unlikable-person status in the world and in recent interview, he revealed that Bill Clinton has become a hero in his search for redemption. It's a little unclear if Clinton is a hero because he admires him, or he just appreciates the precedent the former President sets for Armstrong's hopeful comeback tour.
“Ultimately, people forgive and forget and remember the good stuff you did,” Armstrong told Texas Monthly. “Is it hard to do? Yeah. But Clinton did it. He loves to work, he loves people, he loves to hustle.”
Armstrong continued: “He’s a hero of mine. He’s a tough guy, he’s smart, surrounded himself with good people. And 10 years later, he’s president of the world. It can be done.”
It can be done. Ambitious as ever—you can almost see the wistful look as "president of the world" rolls off the tongue—all Lance wants now is to get back to being beloved. These quotes are strangely off-putting just because the come off so calculated. Like the Oprah appearance, was that a coming clean, or means to an end?
“It’s been a bloodbath,” Armstrong told the publication. “But we expected that. You gotta put that stake in the ground and say, ‘Okay, we’re turning it around.’ That had to happen first.”
Here's the thing: no one really cares that you said "Okay, we're turning it around." Just go away, do your thing and be a normal, not freakishly-ambitious asshole and people will forget. Talking about forgiving and forgetting just delays everything.
The problem with the Clinton comparison, of course, is that Clinton's greatest skill is bullshitting you without making you feel bullshitted so that you forget he's the President and not just some guy speaking to you. He literally makes you like him. He even lied right to our faces and yet, as Armstrong said, there he is: president of the world. That's not because he loves to work and hustle, that's an innate quality. And as we've come to learn, there's never been anything inherently likable about Lance Armstrong. When people love you for what you did, and that all goes away, all that's left is what you are.