*NBC's Russert Offers Political Insight

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NEW YORK--In selecting a speaker for its awards luncheon, DMDNY organizers decided again this year to give attendees a break from a busy day of sessions, roundtables and networking with a little political entertainment. Following the appearance of former president George Bush last year, NBC's Tim Russert lent some perspective on his successor, Bill Clinton.


Russert, host of "Meet the Press,'' came to the podium in attire from catalogers L.L. Bean, Lands End and Joseph A. Bank and mentioned recent purchases of a compact disc and baseball bat from other direct marketers, but that was the extent of his marketing wisdom. He spent most of his talk discussing the paralysis of the presidency brought on by Clinton's attempts to avoid testifying before special prosecutor Ken Starr. The White House is so engrossed in delaying Starr's investigation that it has ignored the nuclear crisis in India and Pakistan, mending Medicare and Social Security as well as addressing the moral ills of the nation's children.


"[Clinton] needs to move on and deal with the real issues of the day,'' he said.


Russert expects the Clinton-Monica Lewinsky situation to come to a resolution soon. Should Lewinsky be indicted, her trial could start as soon as August in Virginia or October in Washington, DC. Whether Clinton is subpoenaed or served as an unindicted co-conspirator in the perjury/obstruction of justice case, the outcome will have major ramifications.


"What happens in the next four to six weeks is critical to the Clinton presidency, the presidency in the 21st century and the future of democracy,'' Russert said.

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