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Paula Jones Rubs Shoulders With Washington Elite At Dinner

Paula Jones
Paula Jones arrives with her husband, left, spokeswoman Susan Carpenter McMillan, right, and several bodyguards  
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WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 25) -- Escorted by bodyguards and accompanied by her husband and her ever-quotable spokeswoman, Paula Jones was the focus of attention at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner Saturday night.

The subject of Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit, President Bill Clinton, also was there but it was Jones who created a stir.

She signed autographs and indulged requests by dinner guests to have their picture taken with her.

While Jones mingled with scores of reporters, she refused to speak to any of them.

Her spokeswoman, Susan Carpenter McMillan, did offer some comments. At one point, Jones asked her husband, "Oh no, is she (Carpenter McMillan) talking to a reporter?"

"This is very important to Paula (to be here) to show that Clinton can run but he can't hide," Carpenter McMillan said.

Her celebrity status did not give her a good table, however; Jones was seated at the rear of the ballroom, far away from Clinton's seat at the head table.

Overwhelmed by the crowd

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton  

A guest of Insight magazine, Jones entered the dining room holding the hands of the security guards who guided her to the table.

People who lined up to see political, media and Hollywood stars attending the dinner at the Washington Hilton & Towers screamed and pushed against the guard ropes when Jones entered the building, just minutes before Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton pulled up at another entrance.

Jones, who was also escorted by her husband Stephen, was rushed down an escalator by uniformed police as plainclothes security guards grabbed photographers by the arms to hold them back.

Jones and her entourage then were sent through one pre-dinner reception, the kitchen and a series of service corridors before arriving at a party hosted by magazine Vanity Fair.

At the party, Jones asked for a glass of chardonnay and nodded when asked by a reporter whether she was overwhelmed by the crowd.

Clinton: 'Mostly I just skim the retractions'

Clinton alluded to some of the scandal surrounding his presidency during his speech to the 2,600 reporters, politicians and celebrity guests.

President Clinton
President Clinton  

"I've been so busy I haven't read a newspaper, read a magazine or even watched the evening news since the pope went to Cuba," he said. The Monica Lewinsky scandal broke during the pope's trip to Cuba.

"What have you been writing about since then? I hardly have any time to read the news anymore. Mostly I just skim the retractions," he said to laughter and applause.

He also mentioned that he'd stopped watching the briefings by White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry, who often deflects questions about the Whitewater investigation by independent counsel Ken Starr. Critics have accused the administration of stonewalling Starr's investigation.

"He (McCurry) never answers a single question. I don't know how you put up with it," Clinton said.

Lewinsky, who also was reportedly invited by several news organizations, did not attend. Lewinsky's normally media friendly lawyer, William Ginsburg, canceled an appearance at the last minute.

Jones' sexual harassment suit against President Clinton was thrown out by a federal judge last month. She is pursuing an appeal.

In Other News

Saturday April 25, 1998

Paula Jones Rubs Shoulders With Washington Elite At Dinner
Ken Starr Questions Hillary Clinton Under Oath
Former Miss America Apologizes To First Lady
Clinton, Paula Jones To Sup At White House Gala

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