Mike McCurry Opens Up

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Poor Mike McCurry. The former Clinton press secretary was forced for 10 months to zip his lips on how he felt about Zippergate; on Monday, he finally let rip. His old boss was "exasperatingly stupid" in his personal life, McCurry told an audience of 200 at the University of Pittsburgh in his first public comments since leaving the White House. And although the President is "an enormously gifted and richly qualified leader for the nation," there will "always be an asterisk next to his name in the record books" because of the Lewinsky scandal.

Special Report That's pretty strong stuff from a former flack, who now seems to be spinning hard for himself. There are, after all, still some asterisks next to his own performance. Why, some observers ask, did he spend so long parroting denials of a sexual affair that half the world seemed to know about? McCurry's answer: "I was aware of the potential for deception, but I just didn't want to believe [Clinton] had the capacity to deceive." No doubt his new bosses in the private sector will appreciate that kind of loyalty. The drollest of press spokesmen may claim to feel "free at last" after three years on the White House podium -- but part of him, it seems, will never leave.