Strange Days in D.C.


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CBS News Face The Nation anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer offers his view of the White House Under Fire controversy.size>

I've been a reporter going on 41 years, but I can't remember a week more peculiar than the last week of January. The news went from Inside the Beltway to Inside the Belt. Polls showed President Clinton's popularity going up, as his credibility went down.

Mr. Clinton was the butt of 100 dirty jokes in his own country and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in another, while the fate of his Presidency hung on the veracity of a 24-year old former White House intern.

Whatever else Monica Lewinsky did, she must have set a record for finding the kinds of friends you don't need. For starters, how about an older mentor who secretly recorded her as she poured out the most intimate details of her life?

How about her married high school teacher? He found it necessary to disclose he had a five year affair with her that began when she was 19, and then said he thought it important to make that disclosure because people needed to know SHE didn't always tell the whole truth. Obviously just another good citizen doing his civic duty.

It reminded me of that old prayer: God, if you'll protect me from my friends, I can handle my enemies.

The only people we've not heard from are Monica's parents. Am I the only one who finds that odd?

For sure, there's something wrong with this picture. But I have a confession: I'm not certain just what, but I'm open to suggestions.

Written by Bob Schieffer, CBS News Face the Nation and Chief Washington Correspondent