It Could Be Worse

June 11, 1993|By TRB

WASHINGTON — Washington. -- What if Bill Clinton had done things differently? Through the miracle of computer technology, we can now obtain an answer to this question. A new virtual-reality software program, procured after great effort by TRB operatives, is able to predict exactly what the press would be saying about the president if he hadn't made what are now regarded as serious mistakes. Here is the printout:

Perot denounces proposed Social Security cuts . . . Deaver appointed Clinton communications director. (CTRL-X)

6/3/93 R.W. Apple Jr./New York Times: ''Can't anybody here play this game? Beset by policy reversals over Bosnia and Haiti, mired in a seemingly endless struggle to fill a third-tier Justice Department slot, Mr. Clinton's youthful aides seem to have forgotten the hard lessons of Vietnam -- if they ever learned them -- and of the 1992 campaign: It's the economy, stupid! 'Old Kennedy hands would have done everything much better,' said one old Kennedy hand. The president himself appeared to confirm as much when he belatedly joined his dinner guests Thursday night. One reporter had already finished six courses of the eight-course meal and was on his second bottle of 1986 Chateau La Gurgue Margaux when the president walked in, sat down, and strangely skipped the cheese course. He nevertheless argued that his presidency could still be salvaged from the pathetic rubble of amateurish failure it has become. 'Look,' he said, with ill-concealed bitterness. 'It could be worse.' '''

L TRB is a column of The New Republic, written by Mickey Kaus.

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