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Women Torn by Clinton's Admission

Posted August 17, 1998

— Many "soccer moms" helped put Bill Clinton in the White House. Many have stood by him through one controversy after another. But some are torn now between Clinton's public support for women's issues and the private life he now admits to leading.

Communications professor David McLennan believes women are looking for more than an explanation of what happened between Clinton and Lewinsky. He says they also want to know why.

"They're trying to make sense of a president that for the most part they've trusted and voted for, now who seems to be not taking women quite as seriously," McLennan explained.

Carolyn Russell believes the integrity of the presidency is at stake. Her own daughter interned in Washington. She says there is no good explanation for Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

"Her parents send her to Washington and this incident happens. [If that had been my daughter], I would have been on the next train," Russell said. "The president and I would have a long conversation. You probably wouldn't need Ken Starr."

Other women are willing to overlook the president's private behavior, despite his public role. Mary Watson Nooe has worked with President Clinton. She says whatever happened behind closed doors shouldn't matter to the American public.

"For his family, I think it's significant," stated Nooe. "For us, why are we spending $40 million to do this?"

That $40 million investigation continues Tuesday, when Ken Starr returns to the grand jury. It's possible Clinton will be called to testify again.


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