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The Monica Effect

We have seen Monica Lewinsky come and go for months, never saying a word. But her choice in gifts speaks volumes in store profits, reports CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg.

As a gift for President Clinton, Lewinsky bought Vox, a steamy novel about phone sex, at Kramerbooks&afterwords, a book shop that gained instant fame and a new influx of customers.

Also, since it was made public that Lewinsky gave the president a book titled Oy Vey! The Things They Say!, a book on Jewish humor, sales have quadrupled nationally.

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"Product placement is brilliant," says P.J. O'Rourke, author of Eat the Rich. "I really wish she had given Bill one of my books."

The now-famous navy blue dress that, according to the Starr report, contained traces of the president's DNA, was bought from the Gap. But the trendy chain store will not comment on how the Monica Effect has impacted sales. Don't look for a copy, though; that style of dress has been discontinued.

"Curiously strong" reads the label on Altoids. Starr reports that Lewinsky once told the president that the breath mint could be used to enhance oral sex. The makers of Altoids say that people have been calling, wanting to invest in its stock. And at McCormick & Schmick's, a cigar bar just two blocks from the White House, sales are up 110 percent.

Without Lewinsky, reports Engberg, there never would have been the president's testimony before the grand jury - the video of which is now on sale for $11.99. In it, the president takes a sip of Diet Coke (which is already No. 1 its market).

The Monica Effect also helped legitimize the work of online reporter Matt Drudge, who now hosts his own program on cable television. And she has also helped increase the visibility of Rep. Henry Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary Commitee.

But, reports Engberg, out of all those things, in the end it seems that Monica Lewinsky might have helped herself the most.

As O'Rourke observes, "Once you get famous in America, we're stuck with you."

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