Here Comes Mr. Jordan

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WASHINGTON: Vernon Jordan reeks of the Establishment. The civil rights lawyer-cum-presidential confidant is on the board of so many major companies that a recent Washington Monthly described him as "the true center of the universe." And yet, he has consistently rejected all the Clinton cabinet posts he was offered, including the chance to become the first black Attorney General. "I do what I want to do," he insists. Establishment and integrity - an intriguing mixture that made his words worth listening to when Jordan waded into the Monica Lewinsky media circus Thursday afternoon.

And he delivered: "I want to tell you absolutely and unequivocally," Jordan said, "Ms. Lewinsky told me in no uncertain terms that she did not have sex with the President." It was the clearest response to "Interngate" yet given from the Clinton camp, but Jordan pointedly did not mention whether the President had made the same unambiguous denial.

What about the allegations that Jordan helped Lewinsky find employment outside of Washington? He was unequivocal about that, too. He had, just as he'd helped plenty of other young and ambitious people in the White House. What the American people await now is the same kind of unabashed clarity from Clinton himself.