The Starr Report: A friendship at the heart of the survival battle

THE MIND goes back to a hot July day in 1992 on the lawn of the Governor's mansion in Little Rock. Bill Clinton was presenting his dream ticket, unveiling as his running mate the Tennessee Senator Al Gore. The promise seemed boundless: two of the south's brightest sons, linking their destinies to lead America into the millennium. Today, for Bill Clinton, the dream is almost dead. But, for Al Gore the office which has been his goal for two decades is almost within his grasp.

Leading Article: Flawed, fired by danger, but still a symbol of hope

IT MUST be suspected that we are a long way from the endgame of the Clinton presidency yet. For one thing, William Jefferson C does not come across as the resigning type. Insofar as quack psychology offers any insights, it is that Mr Clinton displays in full measure a character type quite common in men who achieve high office. An early biography of him by Elizabeth Drew, On The Edge, described a man who - like Jack Kennedy - was fired up by a sense of danger. More than that, though, Mr Clinton likes to make things difficult for himself. Whenever things seem to be going too well or too easily for him, he loses interest and resorts to risky and self-destructive behaviour. His life story has been a wild career (an apt word) from success to recovery from self-inflicted failure.

Reno investigates White House aide for perjury

TWO JUDICIAL developments threatened President Clinton with yet more trouble yesterday, as the judge in the sexual harassment case brought by Paula Jones announced that she was reviewing Mr Clinton's evidence in that case; and the US attorney general, Janet Reno, opened an investigation into another of Mr Clinton's top aides, Harold Ickes.

Clinton grilled for hours by Starr

ALL POLITICAL life in Washington was on hold yesterday as President Bill Clinton entered the Map Room of the White House to give the testimony that could save or ruin his presidency. He arrived at 12.59, one minute early, and was expected to answer questions for the best part of four hours about his relationship with the former White House trainee Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton scandal: Which way for the President?

With his popularity ratings in a nosedive, President Clinton finds himself engulfed in allegations of adultery and obstruction of justice. What is around the corner? David Usborne speculates on two roads that may lie ahead for Mr Clinton. One leads to salvation, another to purgatory. He may stagger on for months in the legal and political swampland that lies between the two - but this is a story where nothing seems beyond the realms of possibility.

Clinton's crisis: Behind the mask of the man 'an orgasm away from the presidency'

Al Gore, Clinton's closest ally, faces a dilemma - he wants the top job but not like this

Leading article: A presidency unzipped: history will not judge him kindly

It seems unlikely that President Clinton will be impeached. Even if he has told - and encouraging the telling of - the little lies that are needed for the functioning of a society built on the myth of serial monogamy. But this week's revelations have delivered a jolt to the presidency that will change history. Until this week, Bill Clinton was destined to be remembered as a moderate reformer, a "borderline third tier" President, in the words of his former adviser Dick Morris. Now he will go down as Slick Willy, a man who made himself look ridiculous and demeaned the office of President because he could not keep his trousers up.

Clinton accused: Vice President stays loyal, but could soon find himself promoted

Consider, in all of this, the plight of one Al Gore. How does he behave as the Lewinsky scandal envelops his President? His task must be to show loyalty to his senior partner in White House. But at the same time, he must know this: people are gossiping already about a Gore presidency.

`Love Story' ends in tears for Al Gore

It was the perfect ruse for adding a touch of romance to a charisma- challenged Vice-President with higher ambitions, and for seven days it had all of Washington in a tizzy. Was it to take seriously Al Gore's claim, as reported by Time magazine last Monday, that he and his wife, Tipper, were the inspiration for Hollywood's most famous tearjerker, Love Story?

The Big Picture: From little things: techno artist creates ultimate jigsaw

Techno-art: Photomosaics - such as Flamingo (above), Jeune Homme Nu (below) based on Hippolyte Flandrin's Young Man by the Sea and commissioned portraits of Al Gore, United States Vice-President, and Bill Gates, president of computer giant Microsoft - are created by Robert Silver, president and chief executive officer of Runway Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Silver, 28, developed a software program which arranges thousands of tiny photographs to make a different single image visible from a distance, as the details from Flamingo and the bather on this page show. A number of Silver's shifting-focus, densely detailed works have been made into posters

Environment: Clinton shackled by barons of the energy industry

The United States can singlehandedly make or break the Kyoto conference on global warming. Mary Dejevsky in Washington warns that domestic constraints severely limit President Clinton's room for negotiation.

Clinton's gay rights stance reflects well on Gore

Bill Clinton will establish a first for a US President tonight when he attends a gay rights dinner in Washington. But his presence is not just a political statement, it is also an attempt to extract his Vice- President, Al Gore, from an embarrassing corner

Funding inquiry threatens Gore's future in doubt election funding to be reviewed

Clouds appeared to be gathering over Vice-President Al Gore's political future following a Justice Department decision to institute a formal review of his involvement in possibly illegal fund-raising during last year's presidential election campaign. The review, announced late on Wednesday, sets a 30-day period within which the Attorney General, Janet Reno, must decide whether to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the case.

Need a people's policy? Ask the People's Panel

The Government's proposed 5,000-strong "People's Panel" of voters, to test attitudes to policies and public services, is the natural conclusion to an increasingly market-driven approach to politics. It is also part of a global trend.

Scandal-hit Democrats appeal for fresh funds

The succession of funding scandals that has hit the US Democratic Party in recent months has taken a severe toll on the party's finances and the Democratic National Council has launched an urgent appeal for contributions.
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