January 20, 1997 in Nation/World

Clinton Chief To Watch Door, Not Bedroom

Associated Press

The next White House chief of staff, in his debut on the Sunday television talk shows, said that in his new job he’ll look closer at who gets to meet the president but won’t start kicking people out of the Lincoln Bedroom.

Erskine B. Bowles, who succeeds Leon Panetta today, also said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it was wrong to write a book while working for the president “and it is something we will address.” He was asked about a new insider book by President Clinton’s former strategist, Dick Morris.

Bowles, a millionaire financier from North Carolina who formerly served in the Clinton White House as deputy chief of staff, said he also will address the issue of who has access to the president.

“We are going to put some new procedures at the White House to make sure that some inappropriate people who had access to the president won’t in the future,” Bowles said.

But he defended the president’s practice of inviting big contributors and others for overnight stays in the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom. “He’s going to have his friends and supporters and people he enjoys and can learn from stay in the White House,” Bowles said.

Bowles proved relatively smooth in his new role representing the White House. He skirted questions of White House scandals and judiciously answered a question on Clinton’s famed temper by saying the president “knows how to express his pleasure and displeasure.”

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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