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With 2d address, a different Clinton

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Statements
President Clinton

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Two speeches, two Clintons

In 2d address, scandal is overshadowed

By Associated Press, 08/20/98

Investigating the President
The latest on Kenneth Starr's probe of President Clinton and his relationship with Monica Lewinsky

Watch the two speeches

New England Cable News Clinton addresses the nation on the strikes in Afghanistan.
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Clinton addresses the nation on Lewinsky. [Watch it now]

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WASHINGTON - Two speeches three days apart brought the nation starkly different performances from President Clinton.

The first was from a wounded, angry figure, delivered in the dim, warm light of a White House room few Americans had heard of, the Map Room. A bowl of flowers was the most striking prop; those who panned the four-minute speech saw petulance amid the petals.

The second, late Thursday afternoon and almost twice as long, was from the Oval Office, core of presidential power. Clinton had the flags as his frame this time.

He wore the authority implicit in the title Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. In a red patterned tie, white shirt and blue jacket, he spoke phrases missing Monday night: ``My fellow Americans.'' ``God Bless our country.''

Monica who?

Even as Ms. Lewinsky testified for the second time to a grand jury about her relationship with Clinton, marking a continuing peril to the president, he was dramatically changing the subject for the moment.

Clinton went into this speech with plenty of cheerleading from members of Congress, missing before and after he changed his story on Ms. Lewinsky and acknowledged an inappropriate relationship with her. His voice had more bounce.

To his right, in the office's brighter light, was a colorful display of military coins that he has gathered from military bases around the world.

The days of preparation for the U.S. attacks on terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan emerged as one explanation for why aides had trouble getting Clinton to sit still long enough to get ready for his testimony in the Lewinsky matter and his speech that night.

Advisers say Clinton repeatedly took calls from his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, on the weekend, leaving personal attorney David Kendall steaming. So, too, on Monday morning, just hours before his testimony.

As Kendall and Clinton reviewed papers again and again, a tall, dark-haired military aide appeared at the door. ``Excuse me, sir,'' he said. ``You're needed on the telephone.'' Clinton put down the papers and walked out.



 

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