He Did Not Have Relations With that Woman, Anna Nicole Smith

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." -- Bill Clinton
"He had no sexual relationships with that woman, Anna Nicole Smith." -- Debra Opri, attorney for Larry Birkhead, alleged father of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter

Same raised finger. Virtually identical line.

View video here.

You might have thought the sad soap opera that has been the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith would have offered a safe haven for those seeking respite from presidential politics. But Hillary cannot be pleased that echoes of a low point of her husband's presidency managed to work their way into the three-ring circus yesterday and onto this morning's "Today" show.

Lawyer Opri uttered her line outside the courthouse where Judge Larry Seidlin was auditioning for a TV show in the guise of conducting a trial. She was asserting that Howard K. Stern, Smith's companion, could not possibly be the father of her infant daughter.

The question arises as to why Opri decided to do her best Bill Clinton impression. My theory: Birkhead has been cast as a relatively minor character in this tragi-comedy. Beyond Anna Nicole herself, much more of the attention has focused on Stern. Even Zsa Zsa's ninth, the Prince, has garnered more than his fair share of air time.

So evoking Clinton was Opri's way of getting some media attention for her client -- and herself. And as we see, when it came to this morning's "Today" -- and to NewsBusters -- it worked.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.