Timing is everything in politics, as in so much else in life. So when Bill Clinton’s most influential political adviser, Dick Morris, quit amid reports that he had a relationship with a prostitute, the effect was magnified by exactly when it happened: only hours before the President was to deliver his acceptance speech to Democrats assembled in Chicago. The 48-year-old political consultant admitted nothing, but his resignation spoke volumes. And the supermarket weekly that made the allegations against him backed them up with detail and photographs. They show Morris, who is married, with Sherry Rowlands, a 37-year-old call girl who sold her story to the tabloid Star for an undisclosed amount. Morris, she said, tried to impress her by recounting administration secrets to her—including showing her an advance copy of Hillary Clinton's convention speech.
Morris was a controversial figure among Clinton’s advisers even before those revelations broke. He has worked with politicians from both major parties, as opposed in their views as farleft former New York congresswoman Bella Abzug and Republican Senator Jesse Helms on the far, far right. After Clinton called him back to help rescue his sinking presidency in late 1994, Morris quickly collided with others in the White House who saw him as an unscrupulous self-promoter. That culminated only last week, when Time magazine’s U.S. edition put Morris on its cover, perched on the President’s shoulder, and proclaimed him to be “The man
who has Clinton’s ear.” Rivalries in the Clinton camp were inflamed. “Dick Morris was always a problem,” Democratic political consultant Jennifer Laszlo said in an interview. “A lot of people are happy to see him gone.” Even on his way out, Morris took credit for Clinton’s political revival, saying in a statement that he had been honored to be able to give the President “a second chance at a second term.”
According to the Star, Morris met Rowlands last year when he called an escort service in Washington. Soon they began to meet weekly at the hotel he uses in Washington, and she stopped seeing other clients. In July, however, she approached the Star and it began verifying her account. Last week, the Star gave the daily tabloid New York Post an advance copy of its story, and the paper ran it under the headline: “Bill’s bad boy.” That sealed Morris’s fate, and sent the man who advised Bill Clinton to push “family friendly” policies back to his home in Connecticut to explain the whole affair to his wife, Eileen.
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