Presidential tidbits caught on videotape TV: In case you missed it, here's what we saw.

September 22, 1998|By Pat Meisol, Michael Ollove, Sarah Pekkanen | Pat Meisol, Michael Ollove, Sarah Pekkanen,SUN STAFF

It has come to our understanding that a few of you actually work for a living. Even more shocking, some of you don't have a TV. So, for those who missed the release of President Clinton's grand jury testimony yesterday, we at Today have sifted through the muck to provide highlights and lowlights of our history in the making. Caution, it wasn't the Gettysburg Address.

Things we never knew about Bill:

He's a presidential re-gifter: "What I normally do, if someone gives me a tie as a gift, is I wear it a time or two ... but at the end of every year ... I give them mostly to the men who work [at the White House]."

He suffers information overload: "There are lots of times when I literally can't remember last week. ... My memory is not what it was when I came here because my life is so crowded."

He can just be friends: "... there are a lot of women with whom I have never had any inappropriate conduct ... who will say from time to time, 'I love you.' "

Product placement opportunities stemming from the videotape: Diet Coke: Presidential beverage of choice when parsing.

Black Dog: Not Buddy but the cafe in Martha's Vineyard where Clinton bought souvenirs for Monica.

Rockettes blanket: Bill gave one to Monica as a going-away present. She didn't get far.

"Titanic": Monica compared their romance to the movie's lovers. Who survives this disaster?

Williamsburg Inn: Prosecutors accused Bill of propositioning Kathleen Willey from this Virginia hotel during his first presidential campaign. Next time, call collect.

Musings never expected from presidential lips:

On sexual possibilities of cigars: "I don't know that I ever thought about that one way or the other."

On avoiding detection: "I did what people do when they do the wrong thing. I tried to do it where nobody else was looking at it."

On the vagaries of sexual harassment: "You're dealing with, in some ways, the most mysterious area of human life."

On salvaging his place in history: "I think I am right to answer all the questions on perjury, but not to say things which will be forever in the historic annals of the United States because of this unprecedented video tape [that] may be leaked at any time."

Bill on Monica's many sides:

"I knew that the minute there was no longer any contact, she would talk about this. She would have to. She couldn't help it. It was part of her psyche."

"I'm quite aware that Ms. Lewinsky has a way of getting information out of people when she's either charming or determined."

After the breakup, "she felt a need to cling more closely ... even though she knew nothing improper was happening or was going happen."

"She's a good girl. She's a good young woman with a good heart and a good mind. I think she's burdened by some unfortunate conditions of her upbringing."

Words that never sounded so salacious:

Deponent

Marble bear head

Government shutdown

Chocolate-covered cherries

Moments that never happened despite leaks to the contrary

He never stormed out of the Map Room.

He never turned purple with rage.

He never cursed.

He never stamped his foot (that we could see).

Those who pain Bill:

Newsweek magazine: It "had become almost a sponsoring media [outlet] for the Paula Jones case, and had a journalist who had been trying, so far fruitlessly, to find me in some sort of wrongdoing."

Linda Tripp: She "had betrayed her friend Monica Lewinsky, stabbed her in the back."

Gennifer Flowers: "I had to admit ... that I'd actually had sexual relations with Gennifer Flowers. Now, I would rather have taken a whipping than done that."

Paula Jones' lawyer: "When they knew they couldn't win the lawsuit, they thought, well, maybe we can pummel him."

Ken Starr's prosecutors: "The questions you're asking, I think, betray the bias of this operation that has troubled me for a long time."

Those whose pain Bill feels:

Monica: "I, I, I -- it breaks my heart that she was ever involved in this."

Betty Currie: "I told Betty Currie not to worry, that she had been through a terrible time. She had lost her brother. She had lost her sister. Her mother was in the hospital. I said, 'Betty, just don't worry about me.' "

Ken Starr's prosecutors: "I've been pretty tough, so let me say something sympathetic. All of you are intelligent people. You've worked hard on this. You've worked for a long time. ..."

Bill himself: "I'm trying to be honest with you, and it hurts me."

Pub Date: 9/22/98

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