Section One

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January 22, 1998: “State of the President”
Washington Post

Herblock’s cartoon relating to the Clinton scandals came at one of the worst moments of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Charges had surfaced that the president had an “improper relationship” with a twenty-one-year-old White House intern. In addition, as Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory (usually sympathetic to Clinton) wrote, “a girlfriend of his supposed girlfriend recorded conversations in which the young woman told of a cover up,” in which “the president and his pal . . . told her to deny the relationship.” When Nixon was being investigated “in the Watergate days,” McGrory continued, that was called “subornation of perjury.”

In Washington, where there should have been great anticipation about Clinton’s upcoming State of the Union address, the buzz was that this new accusation, which would have carried with it a charge of obstruction of justice, was a “grave and impeachable” matter.