WASHINGTON: It's been more than two weeks since Bill Clinton got his homework assignment from Henry Hyde -- 81 questions
on what exactly happened with his pals Vernon and Monica -- and the President is only now getting round to completing it. "We are close to the end of this process," said White House press spokesman Joe Lockhart, adding that Clinton would hand in the assignment either Thursday or Friday. Whether he would answer Hyde's questions in full, or merely refer him to answers previously given in the Paula Jones and grand jury depositions -- earning the President a big fat F from committee Republicans – was still unknown.
Ken Starr, of course, handed in his homework -- boxes and boxes of the stuff -- months ago. The independent counsel, who answered well in excess of 81 questions before the committee last Thursday, got a few more from ABC's Diane Sawyer in an interview to be screened Wednesday night. What does he really think of Clinton? "Extraordinarily talented," said Starr. "Wonderfully empathetic... he inspires just tremendous affection and loyalty." All of which earns the prosecutor top marks for magnanimity -- although it's probably a good thing that he wasn't under oath at the time.