"Whatever It Takes"

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NEW YORK, NY: First Lady Hillary Clinton began her book tour this week amidst a blizzard of questions about Whitewater and Travelgate. "I will do whatever it takes to cooperate," she told NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday. The First Lady did not rule out the possibility that she would testify before the Senate Whitewater Committee, but said, "I can't imagine anything worse . . . You have no idea what the questions are. These people think they can come out of left field, or more likely right field, and ask me anything." But TIME's Richard Lacayo notes that it's Democrats on the Senate Whitewater committee who may want her to testify the most. "Increasingly, it seems to Senate Democrats that it could be the fastest way to put an end to this affair," Lacayo says. "Hillary Clinton has proven very effective in these sorts of exchanges." The risk of testifying, Lacayo notes, is that "speaking under oath, Mrs. Clinton would have to be very, very careful of what she said, and might retreat into the kind of legalese that has raised accusations of obfuscation." On Monday, Mrs. Clinton acknowledged greater responsibility for the travel office dismissals but only as a result of her aides misconstruing her intentions. "The mere expression of concern could be, I guess, taken to mean something more than . . . was meant," she told a Washington, D.C. talk show. That dynamic is certain to be revisited later this week when a House committee questions David Watkins, the former Clinton aide who fired the workers, and said in a memo released recently that Mrs. Clinton exerted considerable pressure on him to do so.