Wright Fights Back

The sleaze label attaches to a Democrat for a change, but the House leader decides to tough it out

The ritual is eerily familiar. A public figure under fire for wrongdoing rises to defend himself, proclaiming his honesty, years of service and adherence to the rules. Last Thursday it was Jim Wright's turn before the TV cameras. The House Speaker's passionate statement was reminiscent of other notable political apologias: Richard Nixon's I-am-not-a-crook, Ed Meese's They-did-not-indict-me and, most recently, John Tower's I-am-a-man-of-some- discipline. Like the others, Wright's performance only emphasized how much trouble he was in.

Vowing to "fight to the last ounce of conviction and energy," Wright offered a point-by-point rebuttal of the three main charges against him. What made...

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