The Whitewater affair is a political plus for one senior Clintonite: new White House Chief of Staff Leon E. Panetta. Cocky Presidential aides, chastened by their recent grilling at congressional hearings, aren't resisting Panetta's management changes, say insiders. George R. Stephanopoulos, Clinton's inseparable aide, now reports to the staff chief, as does Panetta's predecessor, Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty III. He is spending his time working with business executives and Congress. Counselor-without-portfolio Bruce R. Lindsey is expected to leave next year to help run Clinton's reelection campaign. Aides get less face time with Clinton, and reporters have less time to ask questions at photo ops.

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