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Public affair: 10 years later, Lewinsky scandal echoes

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: January 21, 2008
TEN years ago this month President Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky went public, making history and, arguably, changing its course. The reverberations are still felt, a number of questions it raised still unanswered.

A sitting president became embroiled in public controversy over private conduct. Political polarization, which had been building with Clinton's 1992 election and the Republican takeover of Congress two years later, crested in intensity. It resulted in entrenchment that still is a terrain obstacle to progress on key national issues.

Clinton's conduct with the 21-year-old Lewinsky, though morally disturbing, wouldn't have threatened his presidency by itself. The danger came when he was accused of lying to a grand jury and later was impeached by the House of Representatives. A Senate trial returned verdicts of not guilty.

Vice President Al Gore's bid to succeed Clinton in 2000 was hampered by public fatigue from the previous two years. Gore's loss was history changing, as his presidency certainly would've been different than President Bush's.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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