THE HELICOPTER GOLFER
David Watkins was fired from his high-level White House job by
Bill Clinton who was shocked -- shocked -- that Watkins had used
a helicopter assigned to the White House to go golfing. The
January 1997 American Spectator gives the big picture of what
seems to have really happened.
According to the article by Rebecca Borders ("Hell to Pay"),
Watkins, a boyhood chum of Bill Clinton, helped work a special
financial deal during the future-President's 1992 campaign.
Watkins allegedly set up a scheme with World Wide Travel of
Little Rock whereby the travel agency billed journalists
traveling with the Clinton entourage *in* *advance*, the money
was then funneled to the Clinton campaign, and World Wide agreed
to not request payment until after the election.
Early in the Clinton presidency, Watkins says, he was stuck with
the job of firing Billy Dale and other White House Travel Office
personnel. Says Watkins: "Hillary [Clinton] wanted the Travel
Office guys fired, so there was no question that I had to act
upon her wishes."
The firing of the Travel Office employees resulted in scandal,
and Watkins appeared set up to play the role of fall guy. Under
pressure, he seems to have broken the code of *omerta* -- silence
-- when he testified that Hillary had "urged the action be taken
to get 'our people' into the Travel Office." (Hinted at is that
"our people" may have been campaign-funders World Wide Travel
In what looks like revenge for fingering Hillary, about a month
after his testimony Watkins' White House office was relocated to
the Old Executive Office Building. It is almost certain that the
Clinton gang next leaked damaging information on Watkins to the
Wall Street Journal, which information was then printed on page
The punishment for Watkins' breaking ranks had its *coup de
grace* with the helicopter golfing episode. Watkins says he was
only scouting territory for Clinton as a means to lure him to
Camp David. Supposedly, there was a morale problem at Camp David
because President Clinton rarely went there. Watkins' objective
reportedly was to find a way to bait Clinton and reel him in to
Camp David, with good golfing being the bait.
After the helicopter golfer story made big news, Clinton phoned
Watkins to ask his side of things. Watkins says he asked to meet
personally with the President to tell his side of the story.
Clinton reportedly agreed to meet after an imminent press
conference, but then *during* that press conference stuck it to
Watkins when he surprisingly announced that Watkins had resigned.
At that point there was no turning back. But lucky for Watkins,
worse than that didn't happen to him, as it has to others who get
on the wrong side of the yuppie President.