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In a Word, the First Lady Forgives

<i> Times Staff Writer</i>

Let it not be said that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton carries a grudge.

A day after it was revealed that House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s mother, Kathleen Gingrich, had confided to CBS’ Connie Chung that her son had used an unflattering term to describe the First Lady, Mrs. Clinton extended an olive branch to the new Speaker.

In a handwritten note delivered to Gingrich by the President after a White House meeting Thursday, Mrs. Clinton invited the Georgian and his mother to the White House for a private tour.

Neither side would reveal the contents of the note, but a Gingrich aide characterized it as “gracious, with a lot of class” and said that the Gingriches looked forward to their mother-and-son social call on the First Lady.

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The controversy erupted Wednesday when CBS aired excerpts of an interview with Gingrich’s parents. Chung invited the Speaker’s mother to reveal anything he had said about Mrs. Clinton. At first, Mrs. Gingrich demurred. But then, when Chung suggested that she “whisper” the remarks, Mrs. Gingrich said her son had referred to Mrs. Clinton as “a bitch.”


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