When the federal government shut down in 1995, the fallout lasted for years.
The shutdown meant White House interns stepped in to handle some of the jobs paid staffers were legally barred from doing. And on the night of Nov. 15, 1995, Monica Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton had their first kiss—as $50 million and six years’ worth of investigations reported in excruciating detail.
A few years after that shutdown, as Lewinsky became so famous that her first name alone sufficed for headlines, Washington City Paper ran a piece by then-staffer Jake Tapper about a date he’d gone on with the former White House intern in December 1997:
Monica was/is like a lot of young women inside the Beltway, only more so: young, ambitious, and looking—looking for next, seeking a place to land, searching for that one friendly face in the crowd who will think she’s worth talking to. A guy, a boss, a boyfriend, a mentor, a friend. For Monica, that person turned out to be Bill Clinton. Clinton apparently saw in her either a consummately gullible kid, or maybe, just maybe, he was taken by the same thing I was: an absence of jade, a willingness to look around the next corner, a sweetness that is rare in a city built on bitter and sour and salty.
(Clinton would go on, of course, to be the husband of the U.S. secretary of state. Lewinsky got a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and has generally stayed out of the spotlight. Tapper’s at ABC News now, covering the imminent approach of yet another government shutdown.)
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