The Newt Slim-Fast Diet
(TIME, May 26) -- In politics, appearances are everything. To assuage his critics, Newt Gingrich last week started paying down his debt to the ethics committee and promised not to borrow more than $150,000 from Bob Dole. But the appearance that Washington was talking about was more cosmetic: a newly svelte and shorn Speaker. Gingrich is following a regimen of careful eating and increased exercise that has resulted in a loss of nearly 20 lbs. And the Georgia mop-top is getting his hair cut every two to three weeks. Result: a slimmer, more sophisticated Speaker. But Newt's G.O.P. critics say he also has a slimmed-down agenda to go with his new figure: improving education, fighting drugs, reducing teen pregnancy--all poll-tested issues in synch with middle-of-the-road Americans.
--By James Carney
Sandy May Be Dandy
After White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles made it perfectly clear that he was tired of Washington, it took all of a New York minute for people to begin wondering about his replacement. O.K., the chief of staff and First Buddy will stick around at least until Congress puts the finishing touches on the budget in the fall, but the person upon whom most of the speculation has devolved is Sandy Berger, the National Security Council chief who missed getting the job last year by a whisker of his perpetual five o'clock shadow. Aides say Berger is much more of a disciplinarian than Bowles or Leon Panetta, and unafraid to give Clinton bad news with the bark off. An Asia specialist who enjoys the support of the First Lady, Berger is also intensely political and was one of Clinton's first backers in 1988. What Berger lacks is the chumminess and personal chemistry that Clinton enjoys with Bowles. Clinton might also be reluctant to shuffle his foreign policy team now that it is clicking. The other candidates remain long shots. Al Gore's guy, Jack Quinn--his former chief of staff--has gone into the private sector and is likely to remain there. And deputy chief of staff John Podesta has tangled with Hillary Clinton in the past. All of which makes Berger the early front runner.
--By Michael Duffy
Winners & Losers
Reaping What You Sow
Homer The ancients rule! Wandering Odysseus may finally find Nielsen heaven with TV mini-series
Republican National Committee Who needs the Lincoln Bedroom? G.O.P. raises $11.3 million with steak, tuxes and no apologies
Tuskegee Survivors A belated "I'm sorry" from the government only begins to make up for a never-ending wrong
Colonel David Hackworth Was Admiral Boorda's medal detector caught in a decoration inflation of his own?
Kenneth Starr What's in a name? High court rebuffs his desire to be called "the United States" in suit
Annette Sorensen Danish mother is thrown in jail for leaving baby on New York sidewalk. No wonder crime is down
Speak Softly And Carry A...Walking Stick
Yes, Bill Clinton is said to be often preoccupied about his place in history, what with wondering how future scribes of the presidency will compare him with some of his eminent 20th century Democratic predecessors. But no, surely it's not possible that he could have been thinking about it on that fateful night in Florida last March. Yet his unlucky stumble on golfer Greg Norman's stairs has served at least one purpose. Let the record show that it has landed him in the upright, three-legged company of Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Ah, but does the cane make the man?
20 Years Ago In TIME
Lazy Daze of Summer
Whatever Jimmy Carter says about the energy crisis, the summer of '77 does not look anything like the moral equivalent of war. Not for years, even decades, has the nation approached its vacation time in such a collectively peaceful disposition--a mood of relief, resignation, exuberant ease and a bit of hedonism. The season feels like something from the middle years of Eisenhower--or, since the '50s had the cold war and other bad weather, maybe the analogy should go further back, to a vague, green period sometime in the '20s...Americans seem more comfortable about indulging themselves. That somewhat self-indulgent note is the spirit of the season...Hammock sales are up.
--July 4, 1977
By Jamil Hamad, Janice Horowitz, Nadya Labi, Lina Lofaro, Jamie Malanowski, Emily Mitchell, Megan Rutherford, Alain Sanders, Susanne Washburn
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