Frame Game

Reverse Triangulation

Reverse Triangulation How Clinton’s immoderation helps the Democrats look moderate. By William Saletan
(posted Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1998)

Last week, “a source” told the Washington Post that Paula Jones’ lawyers were blowing their chance at a settlement of their case. According to the source, President Clinton “was enraged” at the Jones team for spinning the settlement as an admission of guilt. “You cannot underestimate the personal feelings about this,” the source said. “They’ve just really overplayed their hand.” This weekend, “Democratic sources” told the Post that Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., had “discouraged” an effort, brought to his attention by Clinton, to head off an impeachment inquiry altogether. Despite the “intensive behind-the-scenes lobbying Clinton is doing,” the Post reported, the “skepticism of Daschle and other Democrats” shows that they “are placing clear limits on what they will do to short-circuit the constitutional process.” “White House and House Democratic sources made clear” to the Post “that what the administration wants has little effect on how the Democrats shape their strategy.” A source said House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., “has made it clear that nobody falls on his sword for Bill Clinton.”

Recent “Frame Games”

  • The Nixon Analogy“: Why the Flytrap-Watergate comparison will backfire. (posted Friday, Oct. 2, 1998)
  • Just Say No“: Why the Democrats’ best strategy is to play defense. (posted Wednesday, Sept. 30, 1998)
Slate’s Complete Flytrap Coverage

Photographs of: Bill Clinton by Chris Kleponis/Reuters; Dick Gephardt and Newt Gingrich by Mark Wilson/Reuters.