- PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Former White House spokesman Mike McCurry drew cheers
and applause Monday when he described President Clinton as a ``richly qualified
leader'' who was ``exasperatingly stupid'' in his personal life.
- McCurry, in his first public lecture
since leaving the White House Oct. 1, spoke frankly about his three years
as Clinton's spokesman before an audience of about 200 at the University
- When one man asked how McCurry felt about
leaving the White House after three years, McCurry jumped in the air, spread
his arms wide and shouted ``Free at last!''
- McCurry had nothing but praise for Clinton's
performance as president, citing his economic and peacemaking accomplishments.
- ``He is an enormously gifted and richly
qualified leader for our nation but someone who is exasperatingly stupid
in his personal life,'' McCurry said.
- History will never forget the Monica
Lewinsky scandal, he said.
- ``I think there will be an asterisk next
to his name in the record books,'' he said. Clinton's presidency ``will
always be marred -- stained -- by the episode with Monica Lewinsky.''
- He spared no criticism for the White
House press corps, saying he was ``literally stunned'' in many press briefings
during the Lewinsky scandal when reporters failed to ask a single question
about other issues.
- But McCurry admitted he was duped by
Clinton's initial public claim that he didn't have an affair with Lewinsky.
- ``I was aware of the potential for deception,
but I just didn't want to believe he had the capacity to deceive,'' McCurry