Clinton to Starr: Deal Me In

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Six weeks after declaring he would cooperate fully with the Lewinsky investigation and speak to the matter "sooner rather than later," President Clinton has decided it is nearing the time to lay down his cards. Top White House lawyer David Kendall opened conversations with Ken Starr Tuesday about the terms and conditions of any possible presidential appearance in front of the grand jury. Since Clinton's testimony is likely one of the last elements the prosecutor would present, the very fact that the parties are in negotiation seems to indicate that Starr is close to wrapping his case -- as Trent Lott will be relieved to note.

Of course, just because Kendall is at the table doesn't mean the President is ready to eat. Starr is sure to find his protracted negotiations with William Ginsburg were a walk through the stacks compared to Kendall, a crack attorney who is likely to fight over every clause and phrase of any deal. But it may be that our long national episode of "Jerry Springer" is nearing the end -- of its grand jury phase, at least.