CAMPAIGNS: Judge and Jury - A zippergate flim flam job would be a real blow for Clinton

If Bill Clinton had had the sense to go and see a good spin doctor in the first place, he’d be less in need of a miracle worker now, imagines Adrian Wheeler, managing director of GCI Group, London.

If Bill Clinton had had the sense to go and see a good spin doctor

in the first place, he’d be less in need of a miracle worker now,

imagines Adrian Wheeler, managing director of GCI Group, London.



I had been expecting the call.



’Hi, it’s Bill. I’ve got a situation here where I need some advice

from-what do you call it? A spin doctor.’



’I think I can guess. What do you plan to say?’



’Well, the thing of it is, I need some words to explain to the American

public that I, sort of, didn’t really do anything with Monica, and,

well, even if I did, it didn’t amount to anything, and why should anyone

worry about it anyway ...’



’Tough call. Bill, why don’t you just admit you did it, say you’re sorry

to your family and the public, tell them you’ve learnt a lesson, take

the blame for exploiting Monica’s feelings, and ask them all to give you

another chance. People like the truth.’



’But I called you for some PR advice-that’s not PR! That’s just letting

it all hang out!’



’You should know. But you’re missing the point. If you get caught with

your trousers down - I speak metaphorically - the best PR advice is to

’fess up and face the music. People remember the way you dealt with a

problem long after they’ve forgotten the problem itself.’



’I disagree. Remember the joint episode? When I told people that I

didn’t inhale, it demolished the story. No case to answer. Why can’t I

deal with this in the same way?’



’Bill, if you think that joint story was laid to rest by your

explanation, you should fire your press cuttings service. Anyway, that

was a trivial incident in your youth. This is a major scandal, at the

height of your presidency.’



’I don’t see it that way. What’s the point of having charisma if you

can’t use it to smooth over a problem like this? Just give me some words

about ... oh, inappropriate relationship, stuff like that.’



’Mr President, don’t you realise that this isn’t just about a sexual

indiscretion-although that’s bad enough. People suspect that you may be

guilty of perjury, abuse of office and obstruction of justice.’



’Listen, if I want moral counsel, I’ll go to the Reverend Jesse

Jackson.



If you can’t make me a script, I’ll write my own. Just watch me!’



Like millions of others, I did.



Bill Clinton is reported to have told a friend that he expected to be

remembered as ’the President who slept with a bunch of ugly women.’ He

may just have been telling the truth.



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