Clinton's Legalistic Words Blur The Issue
Does oral sex constitute a sexual relationship?
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 23) -- President Bill Clinton has denied any improper or sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Most people would take that to mean they did not have sex.
But the president is known for his precise, lawyerly way of talking,
especially when confronted with controversy.
Some reading between the lines and a look at some past controversies seem in order.
Back in the late 1980s Sen. Chuck Robb (D-Va.) confessed to getting a "nude massage" from a former beauty queen, but he denied her claims they had a ten-month affair.
In a 1995 Vanity Fair article a woman who claims she was romantically involved with House Speaker Newt Gingrich when he was married to his first wife, was quoted as saying the Georgia Republican preferred oral sex so he could say, "I never slept with her."
Now there are questions about whether Clinton also is offering a denial based on definition.
In an interview on PBS's "News Hour with Jim Lehrer" Clinton said, "There is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship," when asked about his relationship with Lewinsky.
Could the president believe that some acts are not sexual, improper or
adulterous, if they stop short of intercourse?
A 1994 American Spectator magazine article on Clinton's sexual past alleged that he had a preference for oral sex. It quoted Larry Patterson, a state trooper assigned to then-Gov. Clinton's security detail, as saying, "[Clinton] told me he had researched the subject in the Bible and oral sex isn't considered adultery."
Paula Jones claims Clinton was after oral sex when he summoned her to an Arkansas hotel room.
Sources familiar with the tapes of 24-year-old Lewinsky's phone conversations with Linda Tripp say Lewinsky told Tripp she had oral sex with Clinton.