The State of BILL CLINTON

His State of the Union speech reveals a hugely ambitious man with a bold, if sometimes messy, political style

THIS TIME, IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT.

White House officials gave Bill Clinton, a chronic procrastinator, a full six weeks to get ready for his State of the Union speech. Tired of those harrowing last-minute cut-and-paste sessions that have marked nearly all his major addresses, Clinton's aides met with the President before Christmas to discuss a couple of broad themes for the occasion, "renewal" and "continuity." Three weeks later, they delivered a first draft in a fax to Clinton in Europe. With a week to go, speechwriters David Dreyer and Bob Boorstin met with Clinton on Air Force One to...

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