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The Notebook: Oh...That Clinton Personality

TIME magazine 03-16-98


"I forgive him, because I know the frailty of human nature. He has such a tremendous personality that I think the ladies just go wild over him."
The Rev. Billy Graham, referring to Bill Clinton, on NBC's Today

The Scoop: Will Annan's Agreement Declaw UNSCOM?

(TIME, March 16) -- A storm is brewing at the U.N. over just how many secret deals Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN may have made in Baghdad in order to defuse the crisis with Iraq. While Annan has insisted that he has no intention of weakening the U.N. Special Commission, the group that is tracking down SADDAM HUSSEIN's weapons, two developments this week have called UNSCOM's future effectiveness into question. First, Annan stationed a special U.N. representative in Baghdad. That will provide the Iraqis with an alternate channel of communications that may circumvent UNSCOM. Second, Annan is seriously considering a Russian proposal that a Russian be named co-deputy chairman, to serve with current deputy chairman CHARLES DUELFER, an American. In contrast to past Russian efforts at diluting UNSCOM's command, sources inside the U.N. say this appointment has a very good chance of being approved, and UNSCOM's staff members are concerned. Says one: "It's obvious that some people are trying to dilute the commission or get access to the information we have."

--By William Dowell/New York


The buck never stops great economic news, Bill! The latest Moni-market indicators suggest a solid rise in G.D.P. (or gross domestic products). At a Manhattan gourmet shop, snackers can nibble a $20 Monica cookie. In New York a cable ad promotes a phone line to the Oval Orifice. In Germany a decorating company boasts that its "wall-to-wall carpets are knee-friendly and bugging-proof."

Say What?

Not yet a quarter old, 1998 already has distinguished itself in the realm of awkward excuses and unconvincing explanations. And with hardly anyone in the Lewinsky matter yet on public record, the best may be yet to come.

"This was not a sexual relationship. It was a very affectionate relationship, and I'm not trying to define when affection ends and sex begins."
DNC chairman Roy Romer,describing the nature of his 16-year relationship with a woman 18 years his junior

"We were sitting around playing cards, and chairs would break underneath us."
U.S. Olympic hockey player Jeremy Roenick, explaining why players' rooms were damaged

"He basically was recollecting what had transpired and was checking to see if Ms. Currie's recollection was the same."
A source "close to Clinton," explaining that the President did not call Betty Currie the day after his deposition in order to coach her

"This young woman...made contact with a very vulnerable element of our society--police officers--and then dr[ew] them in."
Attorney Troy Spencer, explaining why his client, a Virginia cop suspended for exchanging sexy Internet messages with a minor, did what he did

"Where did most of the slave ships stop? In the South."
Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson, on why there are so many good players in the Southeastern Conference

"It was expensive, dirty and a lot of crime, a lot of people, very congested."
Earl Pitts, the ex-FBI agent jailed for spying, says he did it because he was assigned to New York City

"Males are made up differently... Men compete, get along, and move on with few emotions, but women break down, get emotional."
Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese, on why he wouldn't suspend rules for an injured male athlete as he had for a female

In TIME This Week

Cover Date: March 16, 1998

True Colors
A Primary Roll Call
"Primary Colors" A Tale Of Two Bills
All The Presidents' Movies
Will Betty Currie Stick To The Script?
The White House: Getting The Story Straight
The Nonsense Stops Here: Profile of Judge Johnson
Purloined Papers At The State Department?
Now It's Paula Jones' Turn
Hizzoner The Hall Monitor: Rudy Giuliani
Mr. Gates Goes To Washington
Bill Gates' Diary
Harassed Or Hazed?
The Notebook: Oh...That Clinton Personality

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