THE WHITE HOUSE ADRIFT

THE STAFF PLEADS INCOMPETENCE OVER THE WAYWARD VIDEOS. BUT IS THE PRESIDENT EVEN PAYING ATTENTION?

The scariest part about working for Bill Clinton used to be his "purple rages"--violent bursts of room-shaking anger that could drain the blood from the face of even the most confident aide. Back then, Clinton's emotional engagement in his presidency could be measured by the intensity of his hair-trigger temper.

Which is why his response to the latest White House blunder says so much about Bill Clinton's presidency now. Four years ago, a staff member would rather have resigned than be the one to tell the boss about the ill-timed release of the videotapes made of Clinton's coffees with big-money donors....

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