Bowles Stays Put

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WASHINGTON: Erskine Bowles may have forestalled a White House exodus by ceding to Presidential wishes and staying on as Clinton's chief of staff "for a long period of time."

While press secretary Mike McCurry, senior adviser Rahm Emanuel and former political director Doug Sosnik were all reportedly looking out the door, Bowles was expected to be first. "But it's hard to say no to the President, and Bowles found that out." says TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan. Bowles' announcement Tuesday got a standing ovation from the rest of the staff, and Branegan figures a lot of staff resumes just got put back into the drawer. "Bowles doesn't really affect policy, but he keeps the trains running on time," Branegan says, "and that makes everybody look good. But as soon as Clinton starts to look like a lame duck, the rush to the private sector will come."