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To: Chief of Staff

Fr: DaVid Dreyer

Re: Whitewater Hearings
Cc: Lloyd Cutler
Da: . July 19, 1994
Let me tell you where we are from a communicatio'ns perspective
the Whitewater hearings.
Products and Activities
1. Jeff Eller's operation put together a media binder for the
press in the districts. of every Republican Banking Committee
}1e.mber. They worked hard on this; it will be helpful during the
2. The DNC and a contract employee have amassed a
binder. of Whitewatef briefing materials which are being sent to
. the House through Barney. Sosnick will circulate in Senate.
3. The DNC and a contract employee have amassed bio of
Committee Members with ..eill'lilar of "agency contacts" in
4. At my the DNC has produced a video tape of
Republican speeches from the hearings to show.Members
it means to be on message in support of the Administration.
5. Ann Lewis and the DNC are putting togethei a "viewSr's
guide" to the hearings for distribution to the press.
6. -Todd Stern is on background for
outside the scope of.hearings which might nonetheless be raised
by Republicans during the hearings.
7. I have Barryey Frank to appear before the
Sperling Breakfast on Friday.
. 9. We are asking Lloyd Cutler to do -a Snnd.s.y Show this. weekend
Face .the Nation).
11. We will spin the weekend shows beginning Thursday.
w{W 1./(
.Memorandum to Leon Panetta
July 19, 19.94
Page Two
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I convened a group of poobahs and pundlts\with whom we meet one
a 1tJeek _ communications and get some help on t.he
street. again Thursday morning; it would be great
for you ih (Roosevelt Room). The c6nsists of Ann
Lewis, Leslie Dach, Mike Berman,_ Bob Shrum, Jody Powell, Jerry
Ray, Frank Greer, Paui and -
F6r three reasons, we not as ready as we ought to be the
hearings. the Democrats on the and Senate Banking
Committees aren't relating to us the way the Republicans on the
Committees dealt with the Reagan Administration.
Second, the delay in receiving the third-leg of Fiske's report on.
the handling -of Foster's papers has Third, the mere
assembly.of our reqounting.of this episode has been a painstaking
process -- especially with so many duplicative investigations
going on. -
Consequently, it is hard to see how this story will unfold in the
respective committees bey6nd the In
Iran-Contra, the Republicans .,had a mantra (This is politics.
This is a diversion from the issues of day. Let the
Special Counsel-do his work. _This is not a_criminalinquiry.
The Democrats did not take the Sandinistas seriously) which they
repeated over and over. We have not really a to
the Committee yet.
The Republican storyline is fairly
This is a cover-up. They will use whatever. devices they can
to move beyond the scope and ask questions about the Arkansas
phase of- the . invest1gation. They want Riegel and Gonzalez to
gavel them down._ They have already leaked details about the
confidential handling of our .. documents, and are on record as
opposing the limits placed on the hearings. Leach may invbke
Rule XI of the House Rules to get a separate day of hearings on
Arkansas-related issues.
I .
Memorandum to Leon Panetta
July .19, 1994
Page Three
2. This is about the character (and First .
Lady's). The constellation of issues known as Whitewater --
abuses of power, the.bonflicts of interest, the insider's access,.
the-obstruction of justice-- about than criminal
wrongdoing, as that ia. .These issues to the larger
flaws in the. President's which rendei him unfit for
He stop at nothing to block exposure of-these flaws
even if it means gaming (himself or his cronies) the
regulatory 'or law enforceme'nt process to
am fearful that our problems with the Senate and relyirig
solely on Barney, we will not get to the point where we have a
message strategy for either Chamber. And, as John said, the .
witnesses will have to fare for themselves. This is a problem,
because it effects how the Administration is viewed by.the press
and the public watching the hearings.
1. Foster. We have a slight disagreement on.emphasis over th.e
Vince Foster matters. I have expressed at every meeting my own
view that the Republican handling of the Virice Foster sUicide is
our highest-moral ground. The right wing should be engaged on
this This 'is the one the press with
us. It is also one of our against the Religious
4. Office of Public Liaison. I -asked OPL for help in pulling
together a contact strategy for supporters in Republican Banking
Congressional Districts to issue a "get back to
business" strategy. OPL is not sure it can service Whitewater
and Health care at the same time.