Why Is Monica Lewinsky Speaking Out In 'Vanity Fair' Now? Republicans Have A Theory (OK, A Bunch Of Them)

There are all sorts of opinions as to whether Monica Lewinsky's "silence," broken in an upcoming Vanity Fair article, was actually much of a silence. But there's another question that'll be hotly debated for a while yet: Why exactly is Lewinsky coming forward now? Is it linked to the Hillary Clinton's upcoming probable run for president, or is she really doing this to "take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past"? Lynne Cheney sure doesn't think so!

Not according to a fair number of Republicans, that's for sure. They're sure that the mighty Clintons themselves — the darlings of the Democrat Party — must have put Lewinsky up to it, for one reason or another. Here are a few conspiracy theories that are making the rounds...

TO PUT THE STORY BEHIND THEM

If Hillary Clinton does end up running for president, it's pretty much a certainty that the Lewinsky scandal is going to come up at some point. It might just be best for her to get it over and done with well in advance of 2016 so that she can brush it off as old news. This is the theory put forward by Lynne Cheney, wife of former VP Dick Cheney, on The O’Reilly Factor on Tuesday night.

“I really wonder if this isn't an effort on the Clintons’ part to get that story out of the way," Cheney said, postulating that Vanity Fair wouldn't dare to run a story that Hillary Clinton didn't want to see on its pages.

Guest host Laura Ingraham seemed to think Cheney was on to something.

"I love this theory," she said. "It actually makes perfect sense, and I'm really mad I didn't think of it first."

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TO RAMP UP SYMPATHY FOR HILLARY

As Slate's Dave Weigel points out, Hillary didn't do half bad from the Lewinsky scandal. In fact, right after husband President Bill Clinton was impeached in December 1998, Hillary Clinton's favorability rating peaked, according to Gallup polls.

She might just be looking for a Lewinsky-era favorability boost as she gears up for 2012.

TO STOP EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT BENGHAZI

And by "everyone," we of course mean Fox News. They love talking about Benghazi. And, to be fair to them, the issue has legitimately flared up again in the past week, when a new email was revealed showing that the White House was pushing certain talking points on then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice before she appeared on Sunday talk shows.

What a great time to wheel out Lewinsky! Benghazi was, after all, all her fault, so it definitely gives her a boost if everyone can get all "poor Hillary" over the Lewinsky scandal again.

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Images: Mark Seliger exclusively for Vanity Fair, Sam Jones exclusively for Vanity Fair