Hillary Clinton Stands By Him -- But She's Angry
By Eileen O'Connor/CNN
WASHINGTON (Aug. 19) -- Aides say first lady Hillary Clinton told them she doesn't plan to budge from Martha's Vineyard as the first family begins its summer vacation.
She needs time with her family on the vacation to work things out, in the wake of Bill Clinton's acknowledgement of a sexual relationship with ex-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The first lady is standing by the president, but it's clearly not easy. She is the person some people say is the most humiliated, the most pitied and perhaps the most respected person in all this.
"She's a person of such dignity and strength and great love for her family, for her husband," said White House staffer Ann Lewis. "It's quite admirable."
Especially after her husband told the nation he cheated on her and then lied about it. "I misled people, including even my wife," Clinton said in his speech Monday night. "I deeply regret that."
Mrs. Clinton has told aides this was not the best day in her life but that she is "committed to her marriage and loves her husband and daughter very much." But they say she is angry.
Longtime Clinton supporter James Carville told an interviewer, "To paraphrase Queen Victoria here, I don't think she's amused."
In the past, Mrs. Clinton's belief in her husband has made her his fiercest supporter. On CBS' "60 Minutes" in 1992, she blamed Gennifer Flowers on political enemies.
"I think it's real dangerous in this country if we don't have some zone of privacy for everybody," she said.
This January, on NBC's "Today" show, Monica Lewinsky was again the result of enemies conspiring.
"This is part of a continuing political campaign against my husband," she said.
And even this time, sources say Hillary Clinton was one person who insisted the president focus on Independent Counsel Ken Starr.
In his talk, Clinton told the nation, "It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life."
To move on, people are looking to Mrs. Clinton to be strong and supportive -- publicly.
"I heard one woman saying today that she hoped in private she kicked his behind, but that in public we should not know about that," said Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization for Women.
Judging by the past, with this first lady, we won't.