For Leon Panetta, A Miniature Budget Crisis

Can it be that Leon Panetta, the former director of the White House Office of Management & Budget, has more trouble managing his own debts than the nation's? Panetta, recently named as President Clinton's Chief of Staff, was dining with his wife, Sylvia, in early August at the popular Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House. But minutes after the ex-OMB director plunked down a credit card to pay for the meal, an embarrassed waiter returned to whisper the bad news: The card had been rejected. Panetta produced another card that went through.

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