Well, times change, and then they don't. I remember being on assignment in Cuba some years ago--the Pope was visiting Fidel Castro, as I recall. Suddenly we were all ordered back to Washington. The plane was half full of reporters asking each other things like: "Monica who?" - "A White House intern you say?" It was the start of the most memorable, if not the most important, part of Bill Clinton's presidency.
Now comes Italy. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, we read, will go on trial on charges he paid for sex with a 17-year old Moroccan hooker and then tried to cover it up. The trial will be in April, heard by three judges, all of them women. Now there's something our Bill never had to face. Paying for sex is not illegal in Italy, apparently, but paying for sex with someone under 18 is.
Berlusconi and the girl, whose name is Ruby, both deny having had sex, though she says he gave her 3,000 euros (a little over $ 4,000) when they first met. Just his way of saying "Hi," I suppose.
Well, life goes on. Clinton is an ex-president; his wife makes the news now as Secretary of State. And Berlusconi? He's seventy-four and been prime minister three times. Maybe a little rest in prison would be good. The more things change, as there French say, the more they stay the same.