WASHINGTON, DC—In a historic summit with profound, far-reaching implications for the nation at large, President Clinton met with a guy in a tie Tuesday, shaking the man's hand firmly while projecting a warm yet determined countenance.

Clinton smiles and shakes hands with an important guy wearing a tie.

Standing confidently before reporters and various dignitaries in a White House meeting room equipped with a raised dais, podium, microphone and prominently displayed American flag, the two men greeted each other, exchanged polite small talk and waved cordially to the assembled press.

The guy, presumably an important and distinguished person of one sort or another, waited quietly during introductory remarks made by other people with different ties.

"It is my pleasure to welcome my esteemed colleague to the White House today," Clinton said. "And I'd like to thank him for taking the time to address this key issue facing America as it stands on the verge of a new millennium."

After being formally greeted by a smiling Clinton, the tie guy, who had arrived at the White House several minutes earlier in a big, fancy car, smiled back, furrowing his eyebrows at times to convey determination and seriousness of purpose, yet always maintaining a friendly demeanor.

Clinton was also wearing a tie.

"Thank you, Mr. President," the guy in the tie said. "I very much look forward to our discussion and am confident it will prove fruitful."

The president and the guy in the tie then retired to a large, stately room somewhere else in the White House, where they spoke to each other in earnest, modulated tones.

According to witnesses to the four seconds of footage from the event which was edited into nightly newscasts, the guy with the tie is some kind of visiting dignitary, businessman, expert, government official or something.

Though it is not known at this time exactly what the two tie-wearing men discussed during their meeting, it is believed the topic may have been fiscal policy, tariffs or international law, or possibly even human rights, taxes, budgets, treaties or social programs of some kind. It is known, however, that the meeting was very important and therefore necessitated the wearing of ties.

The incident marked the 194th meeting between Clinton and a guy with a tie in the last week, and the 82,876th such meeting since the start of his administration. Clinton has met with an estimated 795,526 tie-wearing men over the course of his political career, all of them important. This latest meeting comes on the heels of Monday's important meeting between Clinton and a guy with a tie and crown, and last week's equally important meeting with a guy in a turban, one of the few times Clinton has met with an important person who was not wearing a tie.

"Clinton and a guy in a tie? I think I saw that on television," said D.C.-area tavern-owner Jim Blakely. "Clinton was meeting some guy, and they shook hands and, if memory serves me correct, I think they expressed mutual admiration and shared optimism about the future. They showed a brief clip of it, but I had the sound off in the bar because the jukebox was on, so I didn't hear what it was about."

"They walked across the White House lawn," Blakely added, "and then Clinton waved confidently and got into a limo. Or maybe it was a helicopter and a thumbs-up sign. I forget which one it was. Hard to say, really."

In addition to ties, the two men had very expensive suits, fancy watches, gold tie clips, shiny cufflinks and well-polished shoes, as well as very nice, expensive pens in their breast pockets. Clinton's visitor also had an important-looking leather attache case which sources said complemented and accentuated the imposing-yet-elegant effect created by his tie.

While talking, Clinton and the guy with the tie sat on classy armchairs in a fancy sitting room furnished with expensive carpeting and antique oaken furniture, as well as numerous valuable decorative items, including paintings, baubles and various tokens of appreciation from foreign heads of state.

There was also reportedly some sort of coffee-table-type thing between them, upon which they were presumably able to set things down. Among the objects believed to have been placed on this alleged table are the presumably very important pieces of paper from inside the briefcase of the tie-wearing man.

During the historic meeting, the chairs were most likely angled together slightly so that the president and the guy in the tie could face each other yet still have plenty of freedom of movement and leg room. It is also believed that coffee and other refreshments were served or, if not, at least available if requested.

Upon the conclusion of the closed-door, two-tie conference, Clinton paused briefly to meet with his tie-clad staff before leaving the White House to address a roomful of other people in ties in Maryland later that day. The guy with the tie, who characterized the talks with Clinton as "very promising," also departed, acknowledging cameramen with a brief, perfunctory hand-wave/head-tilt gesture while getting into a car with other tie-wearers.

"These two people definitely met with each other, and whatever the man with the tie said was, in some respect at least, extremely significant," said CNN White House analyst Jonathan Heiler. "It must have been, or it wouldn't have been important enough to necessitate a meeting with the president of the United States himself. Everything he does is, as near as we can tell, very significant and noteworthy. Just how noteworthy this will prove to be in the long run, well, it's still just too soon to tell."

"But it's definitely important," Heiler added.

Of the two men's ties, it is believed that Clinton's was slightly fancier.