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Letter: Clinton's historic role

Sir: Good sense, as usual, from David Aaronovitch when he recommends paying more attention to President Clinton's role as head of the most powerful state in the world than to his prowess as a lover ("When the personal becomes all too political", 23 January).

He is not alone in seeing peccadilloes in perspective. Edward Gibbon wrote of Charlemagne: "Of his moral virtues, chastity is not the most conspicuous: but the public happiness could not be materially injured by his nine wives or concubines, the various indulgence of meaner or more transient amours..."

I am with Gibbon and Aaronovitch: however much we might dislike our wives or daughters working in the White House, we should concentrate our attention on Clinton's political acts, not on his love life.


New Barnet, Hertfordhsire

Sherborne St John,