D.C. SHAMEFEST TOPS '98 COVERS

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Call him Bubba. Call him Mr. President. Call him a scoundrel. Call him a persecuted politician. Bill Clinton is many things to many people as he awaits the outcome of the impeachment frenzy gripping Washington. And now you can call him the Cover Story king of 1998, as the scandal that refuses to die collected more than twice as many points as the closest contender. And it's a repeat performance for our chief executive, who earlier won for 1992.

By himself, President Clinton attracted 47.5 points, alone enough to top the year's tally. But add in the other cast members of D.C.'s favorite soap opera -- Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Kenneth Starr, Linda Tripp, Paula Jones and, of course, the most famous intern ever, Monica Lewinsky -- and the story drew an astounding 105.5 points and 93 covers of the magazines tracked in the informal Advertising Age survey.

Everyone else was an also-ran behind 1998's top cover topic. Heartthrob du jour Leonardo DiCaprio collected 43 points to claim the No. 2 spot, in the wake of his "Titanic" success. Third place went to the Cover Story queen of 1996, TV supernova Oprah Winfrey. The ruler of TV talk shows earned 33 points last year.

Another newsstand favorite proved her allure transcended even death, as Princess Diana captured fourth place for the year, earning 29.5 points.

A trio of popular actresses comes next, with the No. 5 slot going to "Ally McBeal" star Calista Flockhart, as the slender actress toted up 25 points on the strength of her popular series. Julia Roberts is close behind in sixth place with 22 points, while "X-Files" player Gillian Anderson gained 21 points and the No. 7 slot.

Perennial nice guy actor Tom Hanks added more Tinseltown flavor to the top 10 ranks, landing 19.5 points and eighth place.

Rounding out the list is a tie for No. 9, with talk show diva Rosie O'Donnell and "X-Files" star David Duchovny both racking up 19 points.

Cover Story is Ad Age's monthly ranking of celebrities' popularity as reflected by their appearances on the covers of more than 30 of the nation's leading

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