Public Weary Of Lewinsky Probe
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, Aug. 17) -- Whether Americans think President Bill Clinton is guilty of breaking the law, whether he lied to the country or whether he is innocent, they sounded one common theme Monday: they want the Monica Lewinsky probe put to rest.
As Clinton testified before Independent Counsel Ken Starr's grand jury concerning his relationship with the former White House intern, public opinion ranged from concerns over a possible cover-up and questions of moral conscience to beliefs that Clinton's private life is his own.
One woman in Little Rock, Ark., the capitol of Clinton's home state, bared her past in defending the president.
"I think we've all probably, unfortunately, slept with somebody that we might not want to admit to the public," she told CNN.
"My opinion about this is that we're looking at a Republican witch hunt. I think if you turned Ken Starr and his gang of wolves on Trent Lott or on Newt Gingrich, I think you'd find a lot more than a stained dress," she said.
Another Little Rock resident said no matter what, he will continue to
"He is the president of the United States, and I feel like this is a personal issue. The president is just a normal human being like the rest of us, and he can make mistakes just like the rest of us, and I think this should be a very private matter," he said.
Reactions from people at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., were not so understanding.
A woman told CNN the investigation has been "overplayed and overexaggerated," but if Clinton admits to an inappropriate relationship
with Lewinsky, he should resign.
"I think an individual that takes an office and chooses to be in the
public eye has a certain obligation to the people and should maintain the high standard of morals and ethics, as our country was based on," she told CNN.
A man at the library said if Clinton admits to perjury, he should be
"If he's perjured himself, I think he has to be prosecuted in accordance
with the law," he said.
At bustling Grand Central Station in New York City, one man said if
Clinton is found guilty of criminal activity, "he should step down."
His wife said even though the president's personal life is nobody else's
business, "If he did break the law ... some punishment needs to be taken."
Another traveler through Grand Central Station said he just wanted
it over with.
"I think it's gone on for far too long," he said. "It just gets harder and harder to explain to our kids today that the presidency is nothing more than -- it isn't as moral and upstanding a type of office that it probably was when our parents were growing up."
Another at Grand Central Station said any relationship with Lewinsky will reflect on Clinton's image as president.
"He's done a fine job, but it's a poor reflection, it gives a wrong
message to our young people -- his moral fiber, the moral fiber of this
country. I think it's a terrible situation," he told CNN.
But others at Grand Central Station disagreed with the probe into
Clinton's personal life, including one woman who said, "I'm sad for the
president, he's really being put in a pressure situation that really doesn't have anything to do with how he does his job."
Another woman said the probe of the president's personal life had gone on for too long.
"I think President Clinton's life is his own business, his personal life. I think that all our lives are our own business, and his ability to run the country has been excellent," she said.