Tall Cotton for GOP

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WASHINGTON: Now that a scandal has finally stuck to the White House, there's a dignified silence among Republicans as party leadership decides the best way to spend their political winnings. Indeed, a growing number of Republicans now believe that the best possible outcome is: Keep Clinton around.

A compromised, laughing stock president limping through the next two years is better than the alternative, the reasoning goes. Who wants to give Al Gore a two-year free trial to flex his Presidential muscles? "For us it's better if this thing drags on for a while," one GOP staff member joked last week. "At least we don't have to come up with an agenda."

This is a scandal that speaks for itself; after six years of railing about Whitewater, travelgate and campaign finance, Republicans can sit back and watch as Tuesday's State of the Union address--followed by the rest of the legislative season--dissolves into a giggly haze of unintended sexual entendre. The mid-term elections? In the bag. With Clinton in office, his critics agree, by the year 2000, the face of the Democratic Party will still be blushing red.