Clinton's Powell Problem

Bill Clinton's political advisers try to affect a brisk indifference toward the enigmatic Colin Powell. Until his plans are finally clear, there are "too many x factors," says George Stephanopoulos.

Firing Up The Politics Of Teen Smoking

Bill Clinton likes his cigars. He smokes only a half dozen or so a year, although he chews on them frequently. That's enough to make him an outlaw in the White House, where First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton banned smoking in 1993.

It's Back To School At Bill U

This is Bill Clinton's idea of a fun evening at the White House: cocktails, the sounds of a harpist, gourmet Szechuan wonton and lamb--and a three-and-a-half-hour discussion about juvenile crime.

'The War Room' Stars Fade Out

The 1992 campaign produced a band of bright young celebrities. In a single election cycle, a group of hip political operatives won the White House, starred in a movie ("The War Room") and came to Washington to run the world.

Harold The Enforcer

White House: Can the acid-tongued--and liberal son of a New Deal titan bring order to President Clinton's re-election campaign?White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes showed up in the Oval Office one day last month wearing a bright orange sport coat.

Hillary Shores Up A Shaky Base For '96

To large numbers of voters, Hillary Clinton is political poison. Blamed --fairly or not--for devising a bloated health-reform plan and suspected of wielding undue influence over her husband, Mrs.

Peering Over The Cliff

The republicans were doing what they've always promised to do. They were reducing taxes and cutting back "the welfare state." The Democrats were reacting the way Democrats traditionally react.

Why Clinton Won't Play Class War

THE DEMOCRATS HAVE HAD SOME success picturing the GOP as the Rich Man's Friend. Republicans, they charge, want to take lunch out of the mouths of schoolchildren to fund tax breaks for the wealthy.

Foster Follies

Robert Bork, John Tower, Clarence Thomas, Zoe Baird, Lani Guinier. They belong to a special branch of Washingtonology: the presidential appointment turned fiasco.

Peso Bill's Bailout

On big days like last Tuesday, White House aides often congregate in chief of staff Leon Panetta's office to watch the network news. A few hours earlier, President Clinton had announced that he was abandoning attempts to win congressional approval for a plan to bolster the Mexican peso with $40 billion in loan guarantees.

Can Clinton Bounce Back?

FEW PRESIDENTS HAVE dropped from sight as completely as Bill Clinton in the weeks leading up to his State of the Union Message. Last Friday, to squeeze a few seconds of air time on the evening news, he was reduced to inviting television cameras in as he recorded his weekly radio speech.

'I Know What I Believe'

Bill Clinton was in a feisty mood, jabbing his finger and rocking forward in his chair, when he met last week in the Oval Office with Newsweek White House correspondents Bob Cohn and Bill Turque.

Reinventing The President

It was a month after the democrats' November disaster, but Bill Clinton's emotions were still raw. He was communing in the Oval Office with a half-dozen moderate Democrats when one of them, Oklahoma Rep.

Goodbye To The 'Condom Queen'

When surgeon general Joycelyn Elders suggested last week that schools might teach masturbation as safe sex, President Clinton fired her. But he can't say he was surprised.

Merge Right, With Caution

The itinerary said Indonesia and Hawaii, but at the trade summit that ended last week Bill Clinton seemed to be in the state of denial. The Republican rout had left him in a mood that drifted, according to aides, from gloom to professorial reflection.

Hunkering Down For Battle

Clarence Thomas lives in a conservative cocoon. For a daily paper, he reads only the right-wing Washington Times. He hires the most conservative law clerks and speaks primarily before groups like the National Association of Evangelicals and at schools like Virginia's Christendom College.

Al Gore: Talk A Lot, And Carry A Big Stick

Warren Christopher had been unable, despite repeated attempts, to schedule regular meetings with Bill Clinton. He understood that his chances of getting on the president's calendar for anything short of a crisis were slim.

The Lost Chance

The Clintons were euphoric. The president had scored a huge success with his nationally televised speech laying out his vision of national health reform. Now, in October 1993, the time had come to brief the president's economic advisers on the specifics of the plan.

Death Rattle For Health Reform

Republican Sen. Bob Packwood was home a week ago Monday night at around 10 o'clock reading "Fathers and Sons" when the telephone rang. It was President Clinton.

Health Care Trouble

WHEN HE THINKS OF Congress and health reform, Sen. Harris Wofford likes to quote Winston Churchill in 1941 on the question of whether America would join the fight against the Nazis. ""I have confidence that the American people, in their good common sense, will, in the end, do the right thing,'' said Churchill, with a wink, ""after they have tried every other alternative.'' Wofford may have picked the right analogy, and certainly the Clintons regard health reform as a warlike crusade.

Clinton's Bleak House

ANGRY AND DRAINED BY Whitewater. Bill Clinton looked hard last week for an emotional elixir. He found it in the Hogs. By making the NCAA basketball tournament, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks enabled Clinton to fulfill every American boy's fantasy: not winning the presidency, but appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

A Head For Diplomacy?

ISRAEL'S PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK Rabin came to Washington last week, seeking Bill Clinton's help in a crisis where America's interests are deeply involved.

The Power Of Sin

When health spending hits $1 trillion next year, about one quarter of it--$250 billion--will go to treat diseases caused by stance abuse. Some 50 million Americans still smoke, and smoking kills an estimated 435,000 people a year-one out of every five deaths.

But What Does It Mean For Me?

Each state would establish one or more health alliances to buy insurance on behalf of thousands of consumers. The alliance would use the leverage of its large membership to negotiate the best deals with groups of doctors and hospitals.

The Ghost Of Vince Foster

With Deputy Counsel Vince Foster's apparent suicide still looming like a shroud over the Clinton administration, White House officials are eager to put the episode behind them by disclosing the note found in pieces in Foster's briefcase.

The Hidden Anger Of Vince Foster

A White House lawyer was packing Vince Foster's belongings into a box when a few dozen small slips of yellow legal paper fluttered to the floor from between the folds of his briefcase.

Health-Lobby Mania

Kevin Forth is a card-carrying member of Beer Drinkers of America. He's a regular reader of Heads Up magazine, which carries articles like "Al Bundy says, 'Don't tax my beer'." His beer-distributing company in Orange County, Calif., is responsible for giving liquor stores the red and white Bud blimps that hang over the suds section.

Clinton's 1,100 Decisions

You think you have trouble figuring out the options in your health-benefits plan--"Should we get the extra dental care? Or the dismemberment benefit?" Pity President Clinton who over the next few weeks will sit down and, in effect, choose America's health-care plan.

Clinton Gets A Supreme Chance

The library of the Yale Law School may not seem like the most romantic place in the world, but Bill and Hillary Clinton fell in love there, and not just with each other.

Pure And Patient--Or Obsessed?

As the special prosecutor running the Iran-contra investigation in Washington, Lawrence Walsh would frequently caution his less-grizzled staff lawyers not to take on matters that might consume them.

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