Friends and enemies agree he's the dominant figure of this political era: for better or worse, the star attraction in America's theater of public affairs. George W. Bush says he's not running against Clinton, but his campaign theme of "restoring dignity" to the White House makes the lameduck President just as much a Republican target as this year's Democratic nominee. As for Al Gore, his every act is measured by the distance it puts between him and the man who is leaving office-ironically-as one of America's most popular incumbents. Beyond all that, Clinton himself is irrepressible and unpredictable. Yesterday, he spent 83 very public minutes revealing his inner life to an audience of religious leaders, again seizing the center stage, even as Clinton absolved Gore from responsibility for his personal excesses. When it comes to Bill Clinton, "What has he done?" is a much less interesting question than, "what's he going to do now?" Today on our program: Bill Clinton, past, present and future.
Newsmaker: Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has said she'll back down after all and move her fundraiser out of the Playboy Mansion-providing she gets an alternative venue with sufficient "chachet." Sanchez is a Democratic-party heroine for defeating Republican "B-1 Bob" Dornan in the GOP stronghold of Orange County. But she was about to be dropped from the speakers' list at next week's convention because Democratic leaders-including Al Gore-say Hugh Hefner's headquarters is inappropriate for a party supporting gender equality and women's rights. Not every Democratic woman agrees, including history Professor Ellen Du Bois, who teaches in UCLA's women's studies program.