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GOP CONVENTION '96

'Clinton' Crashes the GOP Party

August 13, 1996|ROY RIVENBURG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN DIEGO — Clinton impersonator Tim Watters is pretty convincing. When he strode into the Hyatt Regency hotel on Monday to crash a Newt Gingrich breakfast, a tired Associated Press reporter rushed up to him, tape recorder whirring, and began asking serious questions.

Then she suddenly realized the prank and turned crimson. "Oh, you had me going," she moaned. "I'm so embarrassed."

"When I first spotted him, I kinda got a shot like, 'What's he doing here?' " confessed a Secret Service agent who used to work the White House detail.

Watters, a former Florida real estate agent who says he earns $5,000 a day impersonating the president, was hired as a publicity stunt for "The Unshredded Files of Hillary and Bill Clinton" (Broadway Books), a just-released sendup by humorists Henry Beard and John Boswell, the same duo responsible for "O.J.'s Legal Pad."

Among the satirical "discoveries" in the book: compromising photos of Clinton with Gary Hart and Donna Rice; Hillary Rodham Clinton's earliest-known writings, at age 4 ("Rules my dolls must follow--or else!"); Bill's early career plans scribbled on a place mat from an Arkansas rib joint ("Suck up to chicken guy; get in on ground floor of great investment deals"); and the president's personal use of the Hubble space telescope to take photos of Madonna sunbathing in Malibu.

Watters has played Clinton in movies ("Naked Gun 33 1/3"), on television ("The Tonight Show") and at various public appearances. He claims that he has also fooled New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and actor Tony Randall.

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