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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?