- The Washington Times - Friday, August 18, 2000

Democrats must be wondering whether he will ever go away. The Big He, that is. No sooner had President Clinton with much show, pomp and circumstance handed over the metaphorical baton to Vice President Gore, than Mr. Clinton grabbed the headlines again. The Lewinsky scandal is back.

As Mr. Gore was preparing for the biggest moment of his political life, the speech billed as his opportunity to define himself decisively for the American people, the news came out that a second Lewinsky grand jury had been convened. According to sources quoted by the Associated Press, the grand jury has been hearing evidence regarding Mr. Clinton's conduct since July 11, for more than a month.

White House spokesmen immediately attacked the timing of the leak from the office of Independent Counsel Robert Ray. Indeed the timing is extraordinary, but it is well to recall a few things here: One is that attacks have been the only White House mode when dealing with the independent counsel's office, whether under Kenneth Starr or his successor Mr. Ray. It must also be noted that it is Mr. Clinton's own behavior, so eloquently denounced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman two years ago, that continues to bring acute embarrassment to the Democratic Party. And thirdly, that it has been clear for some time that Mr. Clinton is not out of the woods yet. Mr. Ray has not concealed the fact that he is weighing whether to indict Mr. Clinton for perjury or obstruction of justice in the Paula Jones case after he leaves office in January.

Finally, Mr. Ray is not alone in having problems with Mr. Clinton's conduct. Mr. Clinton has been fined for giving false testimony and for civil contempt of court. A disciplinary committee of the Arkansas Supreme Court has moved to revoke his law license. This man ought to be a liability to his party, not the conquering hero he was made out to be this week. Regrettably for Mr. Gore, there is just no way to escape the Clinton legacy.

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