The Incredible Shrinking Speaker of the House

Mild-mannered DENNY HASTERT was never going to be like his outspoken predecessor NEWT GINGRICH. But last week, in the House's first big vote since impeachment--on a resolution to support the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia--Hastert's leadership was nonexistent. At a meeting with other lawmakers in the White House the morning before the vote, Hastert told PRESIDENT CLINTON that enough Republicans would vote yes on the resolution to ensure its passage. Just hours before the vote, Hastert's chief of staff, SCOTT PALMER, advised the Democrats' chief tallyman, Representative DAVID BONIOR, that about 90 Republicans would vote in favor. But in the end,...

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