So Far, So Good

  • Share
  • Read Later
As it turned out, the Monica Lewinsky scandal couldn't have happened at a better time. Six days after the story broke, Bill Clinton was doing what he does best: Delivering a speech that reminded people "why they voted for him". Now, with the investigation foundering, the president is enjoying a stunning 68 percent job approval ratings in a TIME/CNN poll, up 16 points from last week.

Kenneth Starr may only be helping. Sixty percent of those polled say the relentless investigator is going too far into Clinton's sexual behavior and are evenly split (at 43 percent) over whether Starr has acted responsibly. And 57 percent say he should stop altogether.

Best of all for Clinton the money is flowing in, according to DNC National Chair Steve Grossman. At the height of the scandal, the average pledge had dropped to $25.13; after the president's speech it jumped to $30.21.

But the White House knows the nation is nothing if not fickle. TIME White House correspondents Karen Tumulty and Jay Branegan report that despite the recent spike in approval ratings, the drip-drip-drip of Monica-related allegations in the press will continue with Clinton himself maintaining his silence. Which is why an Iraq strike could have secondary benefits after all.