Bad Company

John McCaslin
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Posted: Jun 04, 2008 10:09 AM
Bad Company

"Whatever the facts of Clinton's personal life, it is beyond dispute that he has associated with some decidedly unpresidential company," Todd S. Purdum writes of former President Bill Clinton in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

To back up his claim, Mr. Purdum notes that in 2002 Mr. Clinton flew to Africa with investor Jeffrey Epstein on his private Boeing 727 on an anti-AIDS and economic-development mission. Others in the small delegation included actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Chris Tucker.

"In 2006, Epstein was indicted on state charges of soliciting prostitution in Palm Beach, Florida, and he later came under investigation by federal authorities amid allegations that he hired under-age girls for massages ...," notes Mr. Purdum, the husband of Mr. Clinton's former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers.

"He remains the subject of at least four pending civil lawsuits from young women and is reportedly expected to accept a plea deal on a state charge that would give him 18 months in prison, followed by house arrest, in lieu of a trial now set to begin this month."

Inside the Beltway can't substantiate any of Mr. Purdum's suggestions, but this columnist can speak of the "unpresidential company" the writer says the former president keeps.

By freak coincidence in 2002, while on an unrelated writing assignment, I happened to check in to the Cape Grace hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, mere seconds ahead of Mr. Clinton and his Hollywood cohorts. In fact, we all happened to dine at the same Cape Town restaurant that night.

The following morning, after what was a very late night for the group in the hotel's Bascule Whisky Bar and Wine Cellar, it wasn't anything Mr. Clinton did that the Cape Grace management whispered into my ear. Rather, it dealt with Mr. Spacey's extremely randy behavior, and with a hotel employee no less.

At war and at ease

"The American President" is the title of a new exhibit of Associated Press news photos that went on display yesterday at the National Press Club capturing U.S. presidents at war and at ease - until, of course, seemingly inevitable personal scandals raise their ugly heads.

Among the memorable shots on display through July 12: photographer Paul Vathis capturing President John F. Kennedy conferring gravely with his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, at Camp David after the unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion; Ron Edmonds' rapid sequence of the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan at the Hilton Hotel in Washington; and photos by J. Scott Applewhite of a stressed-out President Bill Clinton during his 1998 impeachment battle.

Say cheese

One knows Election Day isn't far off when senators all come together to "say cheese."

Following yesterday's weekly caucus luncheons, the official photograph of the Senate of the 110th Congress was taken for posterity.

Been there

Hawaii is America's No. 1 honeymoon destination.

That said, where does a senator from Hawaii - in this case Democrat Daniel K. Inouye - honeymoon following his recent wedding to Irene Hirano? That would be in Carmel, Calif.

Fashion

Bring a change of clothes to Capitol Hill today.

It's the fifth annual Capitol PurSuit clothing drive, sponsored by Men's Warehouse and its founder and Chairman George Zimmer, in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building starting at 10 a.m. Suits for men and women collected in the drive are given to local and national charities, supporting the efforts of women and men entering the work force.

This year it is anticipated that more than 10,000 suits will be donated by members of Congress, their staffs and lobbyists.