• U.S.

Is Clinton Wagging The Dog?

1 minute read
Frank Pellegrini

WASHINGTON: Is this President Clinton’s “Wag the Dog”? With his credibility at a historic low — and his need to look Presidential at a historic high — the timing of Thursday’s surprise attack on suspected terrorists in two countries is a cynics’ dream. Remember: this is a White House that, Beltway veterans say, is capable of doing anything. “Of course you don’t want to think that the President would launch this attack just as a distraction,” says TIME White House correspondent Karen Tumulty. “But you can certainly expect Clinton’s opponents to try to make that point.”

But although Dan Coats wasted no time in airing his suspicion “that we may have a president that is desperately seeking to hold onto his job,” Clinton-haters from Newt Gingrich to Orrin Hatch have all put their patriotism above their suspicions — at least publicly. “Sooner or later, terrorists will realize that America’s differences end at the water’s edge,” said none other than Jesse Helms, “and that the United States’ political leadership always has, and always will, stand united in the face of international terrorism.” Nice to know bipartisanship is still out there somewhere.

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