Drilling Bill's Troops

After losing a round in Congress, Leon Panetta leads the Administration on a fresh legislative charge

When congressional leaders met all night last Friday and all day Saturday to cut a deal on the crime bill, only one person was at the table representing the White House: Leon Panetta. As groups of key lawmakers from both parties moved in and out of House majority leader Richard Gephardt's office, Panetta stayed, slashing lines across his yellow legal pad with a blue felt-tip pen as he listened, cajoled and offered concessions. Ever since the House of Representatives dealt a potentially crippling setback to Bill Clinton by killing the crime bill the week before, Panetta had made it clear he...

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