Clinton's deal

Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2001

The following is an excerpt from an editorial in Saturday's Washington Post:

In his farewell address two days before leaving office, President Clinton claimed credit for presiding over "an era of great American renewal." The next day, his last full one in office, he reached an arrangement under which he admitted giving false sworn testimony in the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Clinton dragged the country through a painful ordeal in order to avoid just such admissions. He had been conducting an increasingly fantastical campaign to rewrite the history of his misconduct as a heroic defense of the U.S. Constitution. Now, on the public record, he has admitted his guilt after all.

As you might expect with this man and in this case, even his new statement stops well short of the whole truth. The artfully worded document does not acknowledge either the full extent of his misconduct in the Paula Jones case or his subsequent lies before Kenneth Starr's grand jury. Moreover, these limited admissions appear to reflect not a sudden desire to do the right thing but rather another calculation of self-interest.

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