It was billed as the most important speech of Bill Clinton’s presidency. It was also--for a few minutes--the wrong speech.
When Clinton stepped to the lectern Wednesday night to speak about health care, there was a TelePrompTer in front of him to scroll the text of his speech. The machine began displaying a speech, but it was the Feb. 17 address that Clinton delivered the last time he went before a joint session of Congress.
The President made a quick comment to Vice President Al Gore, seated behind him, and Gore immediately left to alert aides.
“It took five to seven minutes to fix while he was speaking,” said David Dreyer, a communications staffer. Undeterred, Clinton went on talking.