Clinton's Obstacle Course

The President's swing through Europe will test his ability to define America's role in a complex postwar world

Even Presidents need cram sessions, and last Tuesday Bill Clinton, preparing for his trip to Europe, convened a study group in the White House. After cocktails in the Red Room, the 24 or so participants, including Vice President Al Gore, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Secretary of Defense Les Aspin, sat down at a horseshoe-shaped table for elegantly served courses of mushroom soup, venison and wild rice, accompanied by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Since it was a seminar as well as a dinner, guest experts talked while the others ate, giving prepared comments on the future of NATO, postelection politics...

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