The Washington press corps is obsessed with speculation and innuendo about Bill Clinton’s sex life. The vexing question is how do “reporters” figure out how to publish this gossip on the front page of the paper. Today, USA Today’s Jill Lawrence comes up with a solution — take a poll:
In the new poll, taken last weekend, 42% said Bill Clinton has “learned his lessons” from past scandals. But 51% said he is “the same person he always was.”…Three-quarters said the state of the Clintons’ marriage shouldn’t matter to voters — but six in 10 predicted it will.
Now, Lawrence has an excuse to print quotes from random people musing about Clinton and sex. After all, they took the poll:
Democrat John Imsland, 56, a construction worker who lives near Lake Superior in Minnesota and participated in the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, says Bill Clinton has “grown up and matured some” since his White House days. Imsland says the past won’t affect his vote but “another skeleton wouldn’t help” Hillary.
Independent voter John Montgomery, 74, a retired printer in Jeffersonville, Ind., says he doesn’t think Bill Clinton has changed. “It matters to me. I wouldn’t vote for his wife,” says Montgomery, another poll participant.
Last May, the New York Times’ Pat Healy printed a front page story about the state of the Clinton’s marriage, noting that “tabloid gossip sticks to him like iron filings to a magnet.” Months later, talking heads like Chris Matthews continue to obsesses about the article. MSNBC has already started reporting on the USA Today poll:
Who will be next?