An Unwelcome Starr on Hillary's Horizon

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A recent New Yorker magazine cover depicted Hillary Clinton as a tourist in Central Park, stalked by Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a mugger holding a cosh. The esteemed magazine may have done better to put Ken Starr behind the tree, armed with his final report. The Whitewater Special Prosecutor announced Monday that he’s moving rapidly to wrap up his investigation of the Clintons, and plans to have his final report out before the first lady makes her Senate bid. At one time, Hillary’s spin doctors may have welcomed Starr’s swansong as an opportunity to revive the image of their candidate as a target of some unending right-wing conspiracy, but a New York electorate fatigued by scandal is unlikely to be particularly sympathetic to the idea of Mrs. Clinton as a victim. "The only thing that could have helped Hillary would have been Starr leaving town without issuing a report," says TIME Washington correspondent Margaret Carlson. "Her campaign can undermine it and spin it any way they want, but Starr’s report will invariably hurt Hillary."

In an NBC interview aired Monday Starr said he’d been buoyed by Judge Susan Weber Wright’s recent finding that President Clinton had given false testimony in the Paula Jones case, but wouldn’t comment on whether he might seek any indictments against either of the Clintons. Starr also claimed he’d been "horrified" by the House of Representatives decision to publish his report on the Monica Lewinsky affair in all of its salacious detail. He wants America to believe he’d only included the good bits to help the legislature reach an informed decision. Good thing he isn’t standing for a New York senate seat.