Clinton struggles to relaunch agenda

(First Edition)

AFTER a two-week respite from the scandal-obsessed atmosphere of Washington, first on holiday and then campaigning countrywide for health-care reform, President Bill Clinton has returned hoping to struggle free from the tangle of the Whitewater saga and to re-focus attention on his legislative agenda.

Congress, which also comes back today from its Easter recess, may give him a little help. On Capitol Hill - and even in the media - some of the steam appears to have escaped from Whitewater. Members also have a heavy workload, most notably in bargaining on the President's anti-crime bill.

Crime was the theme of Mr Clinton's weekly radio address on Saturday. 'In my travels this week, people made it clear to me they expect us here in Washington to take care of one job immediately: to confront the crime and violence that are tearing our communities apart,' he said. The bill includes the three-strikes-and-you're-out provision that would jail for life anyone found guilty of three successive serious violent crimes.

Though Whitewater fever seems to have subsided somewhat - the story, one columnist said yesterday, appears suddenly to 'have fallen off a cliff in the public consciousness' - elements of the saga still pose possible serious danger to Mr Clinton and may erupt at the very moment that his presidency has a chance to get itself back on track.

The core issues - the relationship between Mr Clinton as Arkansas governor and a failed savings and loan bank, the Madison Guaranty; what monies may have flowed from Madison to his campaign finances and to the Whitewater real-estate scheme; what cover-up of may have since have been attempted - are still to be raked over in congressional hearings later this spring.

Beyond those, however, new questions continue to surface about the morality, if not legality, of Hillary Clinton's past speculative financial dealings. In addition to the revelations of astonishing profits made in the cattle futures markets at the end of the Seventies, Time magazine is expected today to provide another tale of Hillary profit-taking that has to do with an investment she made in a cellular telephone consortium in the mid-Eighties.

Then there is the question of the 'bimbo eruptions'. That volcano has again been spewing salacious lava in some US tabloid publications for weeks, but remains mostly dormant in the pages of mainstream dailies such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The apparent reluctance of these newspapers to give credence, and column inches, to these allegations of sexual impropriety by Mr Clinton is itself almost becoming a news item. The Washington Post last week carried an advertisement from a group called Accuracy in the Media (AIM), accusing the newspaper of suppressing the claims of an Arkansas woman, Paula Jones, that three years ago she was improperly propositioned by Mr Clinton in a hotel room.

The Post said last week that it will look into stories about the private conduct of politicians and 'publish if we find it is factual, relevant to the person's conduct of public office or character'. That might soon put Ms Jones on the newspaper's front page for she has said she is preparing to sue the President over the alleged encounter. When she does, any relative calm the First Couple may for the moment enjoy could be shattered.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape