February 20, 2008
It’s been 15 years since Richmonder Kathleen Willey says Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in the Oval Office. Now she’s back with a book, a media tour and a warning about the woman who wants to be president.
by Jason Roop
Part two of a two-part series. Last week, Charlottesville lawyer John Whitehead recounted his experience meeting Bill Clinton in college, then serving as Paula Jones’ attorney years later. Read “Suing a President” at www.styleweekly.com.
There are times when your life plays out as though you’re dreaming it. But you’re so awake you can hear your heartbeat. Your consciousness is heightened and you are more than you. You are watching yourself.
Kathleen Willey’s life has been filled with such moments.
It happened again last month in a dingy Loews Theater at the foot of Georgetown, a 130-mile drive north from Willey’s tidy, timber-frame home in the woods of Powhatan County.
She’s sitting in the dark with 200 people, in the middle of a row halfway back from the movie screen. Her face is projected about 8 feet tall, and she watches herself talk about Jan. 8, 1998. She hears herself describing one of the worst days of her life, during a time when she lived in a “constant state of terror.”
It’s been 10 years since that day, but her memories remain vivid, and they play before her at 24 frames a second, eliciting soft gasps from the audience.
Willey’s story is condensed to less than five minutes: Her encounter in the Oval Office, where she says Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her. The suicide of her husband and the financial nightmare he left behind. Her forced deposition in the Paula Jones case. The threats she says she endured at the hands of the Clintons.
And this, the desolate road where she thought she might die.
Willey watches herself walking with her beloved German shepherd, Tess, who died in July. They’re heading down a path in Powhatan, gravel crunching beneath their feet, with an unseen film crew of eight trailing along. This is where Willey says she met the jogger, a mysterious man sent to deliver a warning.
She’d never met him, she says, but he seemed to know her. And while the stranger talked, Willey realized he knew too much. About her missing cat. The nail-gunned tires on her Subaru Outback. And then, she recalls, “he said, ‘How are your children doing?’ And he named them by name.”
Willey says she managed to blurt out: “What do you want? What is it you want to know? Who are you and what do you want to know?”
“I’ll never forget that look in his eyes,” Willey says. “He just looked at me and he said, ‘You’re just not getting the message, are you?’
“And the message was, ‘In two days you’re going to be in federal court in Judge Bob Merhige’s office, and you better keep your mouth shut.’
“I turned around and found every ounce of strength that I could find … and I ran.”
Willey emerges from the theater around 9 with her date, a carpenter and part-time model from Mechanicsville. They step into a chilling wind on K Street along the Potomac River. People approach her, almost gingerly, gratefully. “I appreciate your courage,” someone says. “Very difficult, very brave,” says another.
The Clintons are fighting to reclaim the White House, and Willey’s not running away anymore.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency is the driving force behind Willey’s re-emergence from years of life under the radar. Since the early days of Bill Clinton’s alleged rape, affairs and dalliances, Willey has recoiled from media glare.
She was one of those women, yes, but she never was a Monica, a Juanita, a Gennifer Flowers. She never filed charges against Clinton and fought against talking until a federal judge ordered her to answer the questions of Paula Jones’ attorneys.
Willey says she never made a penny off her story, although a former friend, Julie Steele, sold pictures and other information to the National Enquirer for $15,000. But Willey retreated from the tabloids and talk shows. She turned down a $750,000 offer from Playboy. She declined a meeting with a group of women in 1999 who thought about filing a class-action lawsuit against Clinton. Considering such a meeting, she told Style Weekly at the time, “It just seemed kind of unseemly to me.”
With Election ’08 approaching, a new day has dawned. For the last two years Willey’s been working on her book, “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton” (World Ahead Publishing). She took part in the documentary, “Hillary: The Movie” a Michael Moore-style film for the conservative set produced by Citizens United. It was its Georgetown premiere in January that recapped her ordeal at the Clintons’ hands.
Just before sitting down with Style at her home in November, she gets off the phone with WBZ NewsRadio in Boston, one of 200 such radio interviews to date. She talks about traveling to primary states to share her story. Her publisher has a publicist pushing her book.
At 61, Willey seems to have suddenly embraced her very public story.
Or perhaps not, suggests longtime friend and lawyer Dan Gecker, the new vice chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. He can understand how someone like Willey could struggle with balancing dual forces.
“I think anytime you go through an experience like this, there’s the conflicting urges,” Gecker says. “One is to say, almost to shout out, ‘This is what happened to me.’ And the other is just to keep it as close inside as you can. And I think what you’ve seen play out over the last 10 years is that conflict in her.”
Willey says she’d always thought about writing a book, and it was a cathartic process. She declines to go on record in detail but says the resolution of a personal issue two years ago her divorce from her third husband, Bill Schwicker, after a turbulent marriage left her more prepared to tell her story. She put her work in real estate on the back burner and started writing. She wants to correct misinformation, she says, counter personal attacks. And she wants to warn the electorate, especially women, about the real Hillary Clinton.
Yes, Willey says, she was a target of Bill Clinton. But Hillary Clinton targeted her, too. In her book Willey writes of what she and others consider Bill’s sexual psychosis, an addiction that Hillary has ignored, enabled and allowed to continue.
She says that instead of searching for the truth of the claims women made against Bill, Hillary demeaned, undermined and sought to destroy their reputations.
And in page after page, Willey describes a complex web of private investigators and all-out thugs “secret police” sent to silence those women and others through threats and intimidation, break-ins and phone taps and alleges their connection with the Clinton machine. There are story lines so coincidental and strange and fantastical to defy reality. Could this have happened? Can the world operate this way?
Jared K. Stern, a former Marine, has confirmed that as a private investigator for Prudential Associates in 1998, Willey was one of his assignments. He says that he called her home once, without fully explaining his motivations, leaving a message on her answering machine. Willey describes it: “My name is Kirk. And I just want to warn you, there are people out there who want to hurt you. I will call you back tomorrow night.” The FBI set up a trap to trace the promised call, Willey says, but it never came.
“Yes, I believe it,” Gecker says of the threats against Willey. He has yet to read her book, but he says he has personal, off-the-record reasons as well as experience with her case that convince him of what she went through.
“And it’s certainly my belief that the FBI believed it,” he says. “At the time we were in fairly close contact with the FBI … and it is certainly my sense that the agents involved fully believed this.”
Besides, Gecker says: “How do you make it up? And if you’re going to make up threats, do you normally think to make up those kinds of threats?” A mysterious jogger? A family cat that disappeared? An animal skull left on your porch?
Willey says she passed an FBI polygraph examination confirming her story.
In September 2007, over Labor Day weekend, just after Style and others had reported her wrapping up the forthcoming book, Willey says someone broke into her house and stole a copy of her manuscript. She filed a report with the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Department.
Whatever you end up believing, Willey is a tenacious woman who’s been knocked down again and again by those she trusted. But even she realizes people might think she sounds “nuts.” And the whole truth may never be known.
“People who’ve known me for a long time believe me,” Willey says. So do people who know the Clintons. She says perhaps a dozen women have called her to share their stories, which bear striking similarities to her own: “Break-ins into their homes, and threats and intimidation. … We can’t all be lying.”
You wonder if you’re getting wrapped up, like people obsessed with a conspiracy theory. If you believe Willey as many people do and take her at her word, she contends it’s worth considering how a president and his wife may have treated a citizen.
That’s all Willey wants, she says: for people, especially women, to consider the information and make up their own minds. After all, Hillary Clinton wants your vote.
The sound of a pep rally spills beyond the corner of Broad and Lombardy streets in Richmond. It’s twilight on Saturday, Feb. 9, and Virginia Democrats are giddy. Some of them are jammed along the sidewalk, holding giant letters that spell O-B-A-M-A. Others chant “Hill-a-ry!”
The buzz continues across the street, inside the Stuart C. Siegel Center. The Democratic Party of Virginia is celebrating its largest ever Jefferson Jackson Dinner, welcoming a crowd of 5,000. Both of their presidential hopefuls are on their way from Maine. The Virginia primary is three days away.
“Unite us that we might march on to victory,” prays the Rev. Dwight Clinton Jones, a state delegate and Richmond pastor, in a blessing before dinner.
Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder takes the stage, delivering a welcome and plugging Obama. A woman in the bleachers checks her mobile phone for out-of-state primary results. Nearby, former Gov. Mark Warner, who is running for U.S. Senate, poses for pictures. Servers elbow their way through the busy floor, balancing plates of sirloin, seared tuna and garlic mashed potatoes.
This used to be Willey’s world.
Willey, a Democrat, married into Democrats. Her second husband was the son of the powerful state Sen. Edward Willey Sr., namesake to the Willey Bridge on the Chippenham Parkway sweeping across the James River. He held office for three decades before his death in 1986.
Kathleen Willey found a place in the party. She raised money for Wilder during his historic bid for lieutenant governor and then worked as an unpaid staffer when he won. She’d joined the campaign of Mary Sue Terry, who in 1986 became Virginia’s first female attorney general.
On a night like tonight Willey would have been hobnobbing with party faithful. Years ago, Willey was one of the volunteers helping to pull the Jefferson Jackson Dinner together. In 1988 she landed Al Gore as a guest speaker during his first run for president.
She was swept into Bill Clinton’s run for president, too. She helped him raise money, even flew with her husband to the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock, Ark., for Election Night 1992. Like Wilder, the Willeys witnessed Clinton’s victory firsthand. Two months later he took the oath of office as 42nd president of the United States, and the first George Bush faded away.
Now another Bush is in office, and another Clinton wants to replace him. Hillary’s motorcade is on its way to the Siegel Center.
Willey is nowhere to be seen. She’s spent part of her weekend in Washington, D.C., at the Conservative Political Action Conference. McCain spoke. President George W. Bush appeared to an enthusiastic crowd. And Willey signed copies of her new book. Tonight she’s at home watching a movie with her boyfriend.
She hasn’t become a Republican, she says, and holds on to her liberal beliefs. But she’s conflicted, betrayed by her party. She has no plans to ever return to the Jefferson Jackson Dinner, she says: “I would be walking into a hornet’s nest.”
Just inside the Siegel Center, Mary Sue Terry is shaking hands. She wears a campaign button for Hillary on the lapel of her black, sparkling jacket. Until a reporter mentions it, she says she hasn’t heard about Willey’s book.
“Kathleen Willey was a is a friend,” Terry says. “Her daughter was very involved with my campaign. But I’m not into that. As far as I’m concerned, whatever happened then was how many years ago was that?” (Fifteen.)
When told of Willey’s concerns that Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for the country and continue to damage feminism, Terry replies: “I think that’s pretty absurd. I’m really sorry she finds the need to make those assertions in 2008. That’s very sad.”
Before heading off to mingle, she adds, “I would hope that she isn’t doing it for financial reasons.”
Virginia Secretary of Administration Viola O. Baskerville, active in a number of women’s groups, says she’s voting for Clinton. “I’m not discussing Kathleen Willey,” she says. “I’m discussing the candidate that I’m supporting right now. This is 2008.”
That doesn’t stop a discussion at Table 153, where three women question Willey’s motives and relevance, not to mention her psychological state.
“I think she is histrionic, and I’m very sorry for her,” says Sherry Baldwin, a semi-retired scientist and adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “I think she is a very sad reflection of, I don’t know, the kinds of things some women can stoop to.”
A Clinton supporter, Baldwin calls Willey a “better-looking, more upscale Paula Jones” who’s “obsessed” with the Clintons. “She’s kind of paranoid at the very best,” Baldwin says. “She’s either opportunistic or mentally ill.”
As for whatever happened in the Oval Office, a woman beside Baldwin waves the whole thing off as irrelevant. “Hillary had nothing to do with that,” she says.
But Fan resident Sophie Ann Salley chimes in, saying the former president’s “zipper problem” is one of the reasons she supports Obama. If Hillary wins, Salley says, “All the bad things that happened during the ’90s will float up.”
Obama has said as much, warning at a news conference earlier in the week that Republicans were likely to unload a “dump truck” of dirt onto a Clinton campaign.
But this is not a night for attacks, or for discussing Clinton dirt openly over dinner. This is a night to revel in being a Democrat. Scores of media people have flocked to the spectacle. Wine is flowing and the show goes on.
A little after 8:30, Delegate Jennifer McClellan approaches the podium, recalling her days at the University of Richmond, where she first met Clinton. She begins to introduce the former first lady. The room is energized. A group of photojournalists is escorted toward the stage, practically flooding a middle aisle, some crowding against an exasperated woman at a front-row table. She looks up, visibly annoyed. “We’re paying for the dinner!” she protests.
It’s a lost cause. The star has arrived. Her earrings are glinting under bright lights. Her face is projected larger than life on five screens around the arena. A boisterous roar rises from the crowd. “You sound so good!” she extols them. “Let me ask you something: Are you ready to take back the White House and take back our country?”
Willey’s passion for the political process began at 14, when John F. Kennedy became the country’s first Catholic president. Willey was ecstatic. An Irish Catholic, she was a student at Saint Gertrude and a member of St. Bridget’s parish.
Willey lived in the West End with her brother and sister. Their mother worked at home; their father, a Russian Ukranian, sold NCR cash registers. Willey describes them as a “typical middle-class family.” The marriage later ended in divorce.
By ninth grade, Willey convinced her mother to let her leave Saint Gertrude for public school, and she entered the new Douglas Freeman High School. Then her life took a much more dramatic turn: At graduation, she was three months pregnant.
“Imagine my mother’s anger and shame,” writes Willey. She was “rushed” out of town to a home for unwed mothers run by nuns in Ohio and forced to give her son up for adoption through Catholic Charities in Richmond.
She was devastated and heartbroken, she says, and mourned her loss for years. (She happily reunited with her son in 1993.)
Soon she moved to New York to become a flight attendant for TWA. She flew for two years, commuting part of that time from Richmond to New York.
She married, but it was a brief two years; he left her before she gave birth to her daughter, Shannon. She was a single parent when she ran into a lawyer 13 years her senior, Ed Willey. He was divorced, too. They fell in love quickly, Willey says, and three months after they met, they married and had a son together. Ed Willey adopted Shannon.
While her husband built his law practice, Willey stayed home with the children. She volunteered at school, coached soccer, was a “Martha Stewart-type homemaker.” Her husband ran his father’s Senate campaigns, and she began volunteering in political circles. In 1985 she joined Terry’s campaign for attorney general.
By the fall of 1989, Wilder was running for governor and Willey was on the bandwagon. (“I never have made any statement,” he says when asked about Willey today.) Willey and her husband were thrilled about attending a fundraiser for Wilder held at John and Patricia Kluge’s Charlottesville estate. “Their mansion was like nothing I had ever seen in my life,” Willey recounts. “With Roman pillars and every extravagance, it was beyond grandiose.”
Meanwhile, President George H.W. Bush was holding an education summit for governors in Charlottesville. The Kluge fundraiser was sure to draw glitterati. And that’s how Willey met the rising star, Bill Clinton. He seemed charming, she says, down to earth and full of charisma.
He also made her a little unsettled: He “zeroed in on us and continued to make eye contact with me throughout dinner. He was being flirty and assertive, and I felt uncomfortable, for myself and also for my husband.”
Two years later Clinton announced he was running for president.
Willey signed on as a supporter. She formed “Virginians for Clinton” with lawyer Robert L. Burrus Jr., now chairman emeritus of McGuireWoods in Richmond, and Alan L. Wurtzel, then president, now chairman emeritus, of Circuit City Stores.
It didn’t take long before whispers of Clinton’s rumored womanizing began to circulate publicly. The most direct shot came when allegations of an affair with Gennifer Flowers came to light. “I was so angry I ripped the bumper sticker off my car,” Willey recalls.
But Clinton denied the charges, and Willey and her husband maintained their support. They organized fundraisers. They headed to an event in Washington along with lawyer Michael Morchower and his wife, Beth. And in October 1992 it was announced that the third presidential debate with Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot would be held at the University of Richmond.
The Willeys, the campus, the city was abuzz.
Satellite trucks took up residency in a parking lot beside the Robins Center. The campaigns fought over such minutia as whether candidates would sit or stand, and what kind of seating they might use (they settled on stools). Gallup selected a random audience of Richmonders for a new town-hall format, in which citizens would direct questions to the candidates. Hardly anyone else would get a ticket.
Lt. Gov. Don Beyer invited Willey to join a small delegation welcoming Clinton at the airport the day before the debate. Video footage of the scene, writes Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff in his book “Uncovering Clinton,” shows Willey and Clinton embracing, then Clinton turning to Beyer to ask who she was. “Willey, Kathy Willey,” Beyer told him.
Then a Clinton assistant came over to request the Willeys’ phone number. Later that night, while Clinton was resting in a Williamsburg hotel, Willey says he called her at home. (Phone records later revealed two calls from the hotel to her home.) Willey says Clinton was hoarse and asked her to bring him some chicken soup.
His request gave her a strange feeling, and she tried to analyze the situation while navigating an awkward conversation.
Is this what I think it is? Willey recalls thinking.
She hung up and called her husband: “You’re not going to believe this!”
“Did you get tickets?” he asked, hoping they’d be able to attend the debate.
They tried to figure out Clinton’s soup request.
“I don’t think I should go,” she said.
“Well, er, I think that’s a good idea,” he replied.
When the debate at UR wrapped up the next night, the Willeys spearheaded a fundraiser for Clinton, drawing about 150 people to the Richmond Marriott. The Clintons, John Kerry, even Pierce Brosnan showed up. They raised $25,000.
Clinton was inaugurated Jan. 20, 1993. About a month later Willey volunteered to work in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence, commuting from Richmond. She met staffer Linda Tripp. She helped with the White House Easter Egg Roll.
And then her life fell apart. Her husband revealed a shocking secret. She knew he’d “been playing fast and loose with the Internal Revenue Service.” What she didn’t know was that to help pay bills he’d embezzled from siblings, Josephine Abbott and Anthony Lanasa, clients he’d helped in a condo deal.
They wanted their $274,000. Lanasa, along with his lawyer, Bubba Marshall, met Ed Willey in the parking lot of the Chesterfield County courthouse on a November morning in 1993. They threatened to turn him in unless he paid them back. Both Willeys signed a note for the amount, due Nov. 29.
Meanwhile, Lanasa and Marshall reported Ed Willey to the Virginia State Bar.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Ed Willey gathered his family to tell them what happened and the trouble that was sure to come. It was an ugly scene, Kathleen Willey says, and her husband packed a bag and left that afternoon to stay with a friend.
It was the last time she’d see him alive.
That Monday, Kathleen Willey left Richmond to see the president. She was panicked and troubled. Her family was in crisis, sinking financially. She needed more full-time work help or advice of any kind and considering her years of support for Bill Clinton, she felt sure he could help.
She landed an afternoon meeting with him, at about 2:30.
In the Oval Office, Willey told Clinton about the trouble her family was in. He offered her a cup of coffee, she says, leading her into a private area. He hugged her, she says, expressing regret for her situation. The hug lasted too long, and Willey has described it as an “out-of-body experience.” She writes:
“All of a sudden, he was running his hands in my hair and around the back of my neck. …
“He kissed me on my mouth and, before I knew it, I was backed up into the corner, against the closed bathroom door and the wall behind the Oval Office. The president’s hands were all over me, just all over me. And all I could think was, What the hell is he doing?
“I tried to twist away. He was too powerful. President Clinton is almost a foot taller than I am and nearly double my weight. I couldn’t get away and could barely think. And he was the president of the United States.
“I finally managed to say, ‘What are you doing?’
“‘I’ve wanted to do this,’ he said, ‘since the first time I laid eyes on you.’
“I was terrified for my husband, for my family, for our future. …
“Then he took my hand. I didn’t understand what he was doing. The president put my hand on his genitals, on his erect penis. I was shocked! I yanked my hand away but he was forceful. He ran his hands all over me, touching me everywhere, up my skirt, over my blouse, my breasts. He pressed up against me and kissed me. I didn’t know what to do. I could slap him or yell for help. My mind raced. And the only thing I noticed was that his face had turned red, literally beet red.”
Willey says she dove for the door from the private area and into the Oval Office, and rushed out. People were waiting for him, she says Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen among them. Clinton took a seat behind his desk. (In his deposition during the Jones case, Clinton denied Willey’s account.)
Willey took the train back to Richmond and tried in vain to reach her husband. His office was closed, and he hadn’t yet come home. She went to bed, but was awakened the next morning by a call demanding the money they’d promised to Ed’s jilted clients. Willey hung up the phone and kept trying to reach Ed.
Then she answered a call from the sheriff of King and Queen County, about 60 miles away. He’d found a car registered to her daughter, Shannon, on the side of the road. But Shannon was fine. Kathleen’s brother arrived at her house to break the news: Police had found a body, and they thought it was Ed.
He’d shot himself.
Willey says she doesn’t know why, but she walked outside in her bare feet and filled the bird feeders in her yard. She doesn’t remember much about the days that followed, describing them as a kind of gauzy reality. She was in a fog at the Dec. 3 funeral. The next day she was served papers demanding $500,000.
Ed Willey apparently had been overcome with his financial situation, the prospect of disbarment and humiliation. One of the letters he’d left behind was to a friend, Richmond developer H. Louis Salomonsky, asking him to take care of Kathleen.
“And Louis called me up and said, ‘Go help her,’” attorney Gecker recalls. “So as a favor to Louis, I got involved.”
Gecker, now known for his historic rehab projects with Robin Miller, was a real estate and tax lawyer with an economics degree from Princeton and a law degree from the College of William & Mary. When Gecker walked into the life of a grief-stricken Willey, a widow whose world was in shambles, he became what she would call an angel.
Gecker realized that the creditors’ claim, later reduced, was only the beginning. “That was just one creditor,” he says. “We were concerned others might come out. It was pretty clear that these may not have been the only people who lost money dealing with Ed.”
They worked to find ways of preserving the assets, and through years of legal wrangling, he guided Willey through the mess. They disclaimed Ed’s $700,000 life insurance, letting the children take the proceeds. They faced two cases in the Virginia Supreme Court, which ruled in their favor. They declared bankruptcy. In the end Kathleen Willey was without assets the creditors could claim. She says the sibling clients turned down her offer to repay her half of what was owed, and never were repaid.
Willey didn’t make an issue of what happened in the Oval Office. There were other things to worry about. Besides, she needed to make a living and figured her best shot was to stay at the White House. She had shared her story with her lawyer, but few others. She told Linda Tripp at the time it happened. But the information, in light of Paula Jones’ lawsuit against Bill Clinton, was seeping out.
Newsweek reporter Isikoff was trying to track Willey down. And in July 1997, the Drudge Report named Willey as one of Clinton’s women. A story ran in the National Enquirer. And in December of that year, Judge Merhige ruled, despite Willey and Gecker’s protestations, that Willey could be deposed in the Jones case.
Willey says the time leading up to the deposition in Richmond was madness. Media swarmed the area, lurking by Willey’s mailbox at her remote new residence in Powhatan. People such as Jane Pauley visited Gecker’s law office. And that’s when Willey experienced the threats, the jogger, the nails in her tires. Eventually Monica Lewinsky became known to the world. Clinton was charged with a federal misdemeanor and impeached by the House of Representatives.
Willey went on with her life, and lives in the home where so many unsettling experiences occurred. She says she has “a really good security system and a big gun.” And she feels at peace. As for charges that she’s profiting from her story today, she asks what’s wrong with making money on a book about her life. Bill did; so did Hillary.
Still, she can’t help but be hurt by harsh criticism from fellow Democrats, like those at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner especially from a friend she supported, Mary Sue Terry. Before making those statements, Willey says, “it might have been nice to talk with me or read my book.”
The new man in her life, Frankie Hanback, says Willey sometimes jumps to conclusions, understandably, when things happen to her these days. But “she’s feeling more comfortable,” he says. She’s easy to get along with, “not very dramatic, very even-keeled.” And he admires her, he says: “She’s a stubborn, strong-willed Irish woman and very courageous.”
On a late November afternoon, Willey lets her dogs out the side door of her home and walks around back, pointing to an expansive backyard. These are 10 acres of quiet woods. When she found this place, she says, she knew it was where she was meant to be. “Hopefully I’ll be able to stay here,” she says, “hold everything together.”
In an interview Feb. 11, a day before losing the Virginia primary to Obama, Clinton sits for an interview with Politico.com and ABC affiliate WJLA in Washington, D.C. A reporter asks about the scandals of the ’90s.
“One thing you know about me is that I have been vetted,” Clinton says. “I’ve been through this. I understand exactly what is coming at me. And there isn’t any new information. It’s just more of the same; it’s been recycled over and over again.”
A Politico reader asks: “How can we be sure that some new business or personal scandal involving Bill Clinton won’t erupt, which the Republicans will use to blow your agenda and your administration right out of the water?”
Clinton replies: “Well, I just can assure this reader that is not going to happen. You know, none of us can predict the future no matter who we are and what we’re running for, but I am very confident that that will not happen.”
At the Siegel Center, Clinton offers little more than her prepared remarks. Afterward, she sweeps down a line of admirers crushed against a barrier. “Lovely Day” plays over the sound system. She stops in front of this reporter, offering a wide smile and raised eyebrows, and exclaiming “Hi, how are you?” When she sees a recorder, hears the beginning of a question, she stops talking and abruptly moves away. S