Why Everybody Thinks Rubin Is Crying Wolf

In the battle over the federal debt ceiling, rhetoric fogs reality. Take the GOP attacks on Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, the Clinton Administration's chief strategist for heading off a default. On Oct. 30, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) assailed Rubin for being "so political that he doesn't have a lot of credibility." But the next day, Dole called the White House for a meeting on the issue--and insisted Rubin attend. "That's just the way Washington works," says a bemused Rubin aide.

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