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An Average Mom? Hardly

Bill Press, a former chairman of the California Democratic Party, is co-host of CNN's "Crossfire."

“I’m you. I’m just like you. I’m an average American who found herself in a situation not of her own making.”

What? Who does Linda Tripp think she’s kidding?

Stung by opinion polls showing her even less popular than Newt Gingrich or Ken Starr, Tripp stepped out of the federal courthouse Wednesday afternoon and made a desperate appeal for public sympathy. She should have kept her big mouth shut.

Not even Hollywood has ever seen a more self-serving, shameless, sickening performance.

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Don’t hate me, Linda pleaded. I’m no meanie. I’m just like you. I’m just the girl next door. Just your average soccer mom who works hard at her job. I love my friends. And I have absolutely no political agenda.

Hogwash! Does she really think we’re stupid enough to believe that sob story?

I don’t know about you, but I looked in the mirror. Linda Tripp’s not just like me.

I never taped telephone conversations with my best friends without telling them. Hell, I never even taped telephone conversations with my best friends after I told them.

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I’m not under investigation by the Maryland state prosecutor for breaking the law because, in Maryland, it’s a felony to secretly record telephone calls.

I never entrapped a friend by urging her to send packages to the White House via a courier service owned by my book agent’s family so I could later turn shipment records over to a federal prosecutor.

Come to think of it, I never lied, as Tripp did, on a security clearance form for the Pentagon either, claiming I’d never been arrested, and I never got a job based on lying about my record.

I never peddled a story to Newsweek about secrets I’d learned in the Clinton White House.

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And I never denied I had a political agenda, when in fact everybody knows I’ve been shopping a sensational tell-tale book about sex in the White House all over bookdom. Working title: “Behind Closed Doors: What I Saw at the Clinton White House.” Nom de plume: Joan Dean. Does this woman have delusions of fame or what? No, Linda Tripp’s not just like me.

The simple fact is, Linda Tripp is an angry, frustrated political loser. A carry-over from the Bush administration, she never liked the new Clinton gang. She resented the fact that they didn’t trust her, didn’t give her more responsibility. She accused Clinton officials of covering up evidence after Vince Foster’s suicide. When, instead of firing her, the Clinton White House found her a new job for more money at the Pentagon, Tripp didn’t thank them. She turned on them. Ken Starr is her revenge.

Now Linda Tripp is trying to reinvent herself as a victim. It just won’t wash. Tripp is not the victim of Monicagate; she’s the villain. Tripp was not acting out of self-defense, she was acting out of pure self-interest.

It was Linda Tripp herself who began recording Monica’s conversations, long before there was any talk of subpoenas being issued. It was Linda Tripp herself who first enlisted the advice of book agent Lucianne Goldberg, known for her political dirty-tricks. It was Linda Tripp herself who betrayed her friend to Starr. It was Linda Tripp--or at least this is what Monica Lewinsky has reportedly told prosecutors--who inspired the so-called “talking points” she gave Tripp. And, according to Brill’s Content magazine, Paula Jones’ lawyers didn’t seek Tripp out. It was Tripp herself who sought them out, hoping to further ensnare the hapless Monica.

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Not of her own making? This whole scandal is entirely of her own making.

Linda Tripp was willing to sell out her friend and bring down the president of the United States to sell a book. It is insulting to suggest that the average American would have done the same. Most Americans have more honor.

Now that she sees the damage she’s done, the lives she’s destroyed, the country she’s divided, Linda Tripp wants everybody to love her. Too late. She should have thought of that before she pushed the “record” button.


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