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Oracle has enlisted the help of a former White House spin doctor to spruce up its press machine.

Joe Lockhart, who was the White House press secretary during Bill Clinton's impeachment tussle, joins the software outfit in a top communications post today. He will get the official title of Oracle senior vice president, reporting directly to Larry Ellison.

"Joe brings perspective and experience not commonly found in Silicon Valley companies," said Ellison in a statement. "Joe will help us clearly and broadly communicate the benefits of e-business and e-government."

Lockhart will keep his Washington abode - where he lives with his wife and daughter - and spend one or two weeks per month in Silicon Valley. It's a hard life...

He got the job of press secretary in October 1998, just as the House of Representatives started buzzing around following the Monica 'keep that dress' Lewinsky sex scandal. He also previously worked on several other US presidential campaigns, including the Dukakis/Bentsen campaign in 1998, and has served time at both Sky TV News and ABC Network News.

But the spin-meister will not deal solely with issues relating to the software business. An unnamed source told the Wall Street Journal he will also be responsible for boosting his bachelor boss's profile regarding non-Oracle activities such as charitable events. ®

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