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Lewinsky Affair Still Dogs Clintons
WASHINGTON - Call it the Grandma factor. Beyond the usual suspects in a sexual fling like President Clinton's with Monica Lewinsky, the first lady suggested that her husband's impeachable conduct could be linked to childhood conflict between his mother and his grandmother. Then she said she didn't mean it that way. And he said she'd made no excuses for conduct that was inexcusable.
Whenever the tale of two Clintons subsides, something happens to stir it again. In this case it was Hillary Rodham Clinton, who chose to address in a magazine interview the marital problems she'd earlier insisted belonged in a zone of privacy. That line will be hard to hold now on the ``listening tour'' in which she is readying a campaign for the Senate in New York. Her Talk Magazine interview became the prime topic of TV and radio talk shows. One theory is that she was trying to pre-empt the question in order to shelve it as she seeks to succeed Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in a state where she's never lived or worked. But it had hardly come up in the month since she set up her Senate campaign exploratory committee and started her campaign travels. Republicans said she would only succeed in stirring the issue, not solving it.
Either way, Mrs. Clinton's talk with Talk must rank as the oddest of candidate interviews. In it, she seemed to deflect the blame for Clinton's marital infidelities with a venture into amateur psychology - something she and the president dismissed and sometimes denounced when others tried it on them.
At the outset, when Clinton was dishonestly denying his affair with Monica Lewinsky, the first lady said a ``vast, right-wing conspiracy'' was trying to stir scandal against him. His cover stories and testimony were what got him impeached by the House. The Senate acquitted him. ``He couldn't protect me and so he lied,'' Mrs. Clinton told Talk writer Lucinda Franks. Besides, there was grandma, Edith Grisham Cassidy, and her bitter argument with Clinton's mother, Virginia, over her second marriage. ``He was so young, barely four, when he was scarred by abuse that he can't even take it out and look at it,'' Mrs. Clinton said in the interview. ``There was a terrible conflict between his mother and grandmother. A psychologist once told me that for a boy, being in the middle of a conflict between two women is the worst possible situation. There is always the desire to please each one.''
Clinton's spokesman said that the president takes responsibility for his own actions, and that he was comfortable with his wife's account. Apparently she was not, at least with the way it was interpreted. So two days after it was published, her spokeswoman, Marsha Berry, said it was being misinterpreted as an excuse for his behavior. Mrs. Clinton didn't disavow what she'd said in interviews conducted last spring and published on Sunday. ``She did not say the president's childhood in any way caused his behavior, nor does she believe that,'' Ms. Berry said.
In Jamestown, N.Y., on Wednesday, the first lady did more fine-tuning. ``Everybody is responsible for their behavior and I am a very strong proponent and believer in personal responsibility, so I hope that people will take that message away from this,'' she said. Clinton said so, too. ``I don't believe that anybody could fairly read the article and think that she was making any excuses for me,'' he said at the White House. ``I have not made any excuses for what was inexcusable and neither has she, believe me.''
More questions, but no more answers. ``Look, I think that I have said all I need to say about that'' Clinton said. Mrs. Clinton said she believed that the country had put the matter behind it. ``I have as well,'' she said. Keeping it there in the clamor of a New York Senate campaign will not be easy. But at least Grandma Cassidy is off the hook.
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NotHillary.com To 'Expose & Confront' Hillary Clinton
NEW YORK, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A newly created Internet project was launched today to"subject First Lady Hillary Clinton to unprecedented and sustained scrutiny"as she embarks on her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in New York State. The Internet site, which you can log onto at http://www.NotHillary.com , is"intended to expose Mrs. Clinton's past record, confront her misguided policies and curtail her future political ambitions,"according to Jeff Larson, the interim coordinator of the NotHillary.com project. He said that Mrs. Clinton's public statements over the past two weeks that she will announce her Senate candidacy early next year"means that we must intensify and accelerate efforts to hold her accountable and ensure that New Yorkers are fully-informed about the inadequacies of Hillary Clinton's record and proposals."
In addition, Larson said the project organizers are"responding to a growing concern among conservatives and Republicans who are wary and suspicious that Mrs. Clinton's candidacy is a political facade for a much more ambitious agenda."He said that Mrs. Clinton's nationwide fundraising endeavors, including high dollar events in several major cities, have made"it necessary and legitimate to conduct a nationwide effort to confront her candidacy and expose Hillary's liberal, unacceptable tendencies. Our contention,"he said,"is that while New York voters have a direct interest in seeing that Mrs. Clinton is defeated, there also is a prevailing national interest in setting the Hillary record straight and curtailing her future political explorations and ambitions."
He said that NotHillary.com"does not intend to intrude on New York politics."The NotHillary effort, Larson added, is a special project of a Coalition for a Better America and will undertake a national fund-raising drive to support the Internet site and related projects. He said"the First Lady's continuing efforts to advocate national policies, as well as her coast-to-coast fund-raising efforts, have elevated her candidacy and the New York Senate campaign to national prominence. We are launching a nationwide grassroots effort to confront her record and campaign proposals."One of the project goals, Larson said, will be"to hold Hillary Clinton accountable and responsible, which will be a new experience for her and her husband. Now is the time to end the Clinton political careers and to expose the myth and insanity that they have the right answers for the nation's future.
"We just want to help assure that New Yorkers are aware of the failures and fallacies of Hillary Clinton's record and some of the ridiculous, irresponsible policies she is embracing,"Larson said."We also want to ensure that the New York race is her last political exploration -- not a stepping-stone to expand her political agenda and encourage her possible fantasies about a possible White House bid."
Larson described the Clintons as"the most resilient political couple in the nation today who have succeeded in 'spinning' the American taxpayers for too long. It would be a serious mistake to underestimate their stealth intentions or what their grand plans are to advance Hillary's political career and their liberal policies. The NotHillary.com supporters are committed to curtail and terminate the Clinton ambitions,"said Larson, who added that the Internet project is"prepared to monitor and confront Mrs. Clinton beyond the Senate race. Regardless of what happens in the New York Senate race, it's very unlikely that she will just fade away."He added,"the real problem with Mrs. Clinton is that, as long as she has a carpetbag and somebody else to write the checks to underwrite her ambitions, she could be running for some other office in a neighborhood or state near you in the future."
Larson said NotHillary.com will create"a watchdog organization to focus on the facts about the policies Hillary Clinton is advocating and to confront her when she engages in falsehoods and distortions or makes outrageous and unacceptable promises in the upcoming Senate campaign. If Hillary had just the forums and platforms that will be available to her as a former First Lady, it would give her more than enough exposure for her ill-conceived ideas, philosophies and theories,"he said."But, to have her in the U.S. Senate where she can actually introduce and vote on proposals that will affect all Americans, as well as providing a forum for her future ambitions is unacceptable and intolerable."
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