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Clintons Put on a Brave Face During White House Dinner

January 22, 1998| From Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Clinton and his wife put on a brave face at a black-tie White House dinner Wednesday as both sought to put behind them allegations that the president had an affair with a young intern.

Clinton spent much of his day denying the allegations that he had a sexual relationship with the woman and that he told her to lie about it. Hillary Rodham Clinton devoted her day to advancing the president's race agenda in a Baltimore speech.

But they appeared together in the evening, he in a tuxedo and she in an evergreen suit, for a long-scheduled formal dinner in the White House State Dining Room to mark the completion of a $25-million endowment to preserve the executive mansion.

The president praised his wife for her work on the fund, which supports the preservation and enhancement of fine arts in the mansion.

"I thank her for her leadership and for making this house--on all floors--a more wonderful and truly historic place to live," Clinton said. He then looked on proudly as she received accolades from the fund's contributors.

For her part, the first lady gave a polite speech thanking the donors and offered a few lighthearted jokes, assuring the contributors that she had no intention of restoring a moose head beloved by President Theodore Roosevelt to the dining room.

But she also appeared subdued, nodding with a slightly distracted air as the donors praised her and looking down as they handed her a certificate of appreciation for her work on the mansion.

She had spent most of her day in Baltimore, giving a speech on the president's national dialogue on race.

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