Congressman begins attempt to revive career

US congressman Gary Condit is emerging from a self-imposed media blackout following Chandra Levy’s disappearance, trying to revive his political career and clarify his relationship with the missing former Government intern.

US congressman Gary Condit is emerging from a self-imposed media blackout following Chandra Levy’s disappearance, trying to revive his political career and clarify his relationship with the missing former Government intern.

He agreed to a 30-minute television interview that will air tonight. Condit was interviewed on Tuesday by People magazine, which plans to put the California Democrat and his wife, Carolyn, on the cover of its September 3 issue.

It was Mr Condit’s first interview since Ms Levy disappeared May 1.

He will talk to a television station and newspaper in California, and at least one more magazine, an aide said.

Constituents in his central California district, which includes Ms Levy’s hometown of Modesto, are hearing directly from him.

More than 200,000 households are being sent a mailing intended to explain his actions in the wake of Levy’s disappearance, the aide said.

Marina Ein, a spokeswoman for Mr Condit, said the congressman has two goals in his interviews. ‘‘His primary concern is to express his personal pain with what has occurred and, secondarily, to correct the record,’’ she said.

Aides say Condit, first elected in 1989, intends to seek re-election next year.

Some congressional colleagues have dismissed Condit’s chances of re-election because of his actions in the Levy case.

But several political consultants drew parallels to President Bill Clinton’s ability to survive the Monica Lewinsky scandal and earlier allegations of marital infidelities.

What the 53-year-old father-of-two has to say about his relationship Ms Levy, 24, will go a long way in deciding his political future.

‘‘He has got to be careful not to put too much focus on himself because Chandra Levy is still missing and there is still a family that’s grieving,’’ said Rob Stutzman, a Republican consultant in California.

‘‘This is not about Gary Condit. He has to be careful not to dwell too much on his circumstances.’’

Police interviewed Mr Condit four times.

Not until the third interview, more than two months after Ms Levy vanished, did Mr Condit acknowledge he had an affair with her, a police source has said.

Nevertheless, police have been adamant in declaring that Condit is not a suspect.

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