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|Which of the following do you think is more likely to be the reason former President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich: the facts supported a pardon, or Clinton received contributions and favors from Richs friends and family?
The recent missteps, some of which were shared by Senator Hillary Clinton, accumulated quickly. Clintons 11th-hour plea agreement, although carefully worded, is seen by most people as an admission of lying. The gifts and items taken to the Clintons new homes, and the high priced mid-Manhattan office space generated ample criticism. But the real firestorm ensued from the pardon of wealthy financier and exile Marc Rich.
Clinton claims he is surprised by the criticism hes received, especially of the Rich pardon. Long-time critics believe this is just the latest evidence of his lack of respect for the office and the law, and his sense that he is above the rules. Most observers believe the troubles are a reflection of Clintons loss of a White House spin machine ( dozens of lawyers, press secretaries, pollsters and political consultants) and the inability to change the subject (announce good news, or claim I need to get back to work for the American people).
The immediate impact of the controversies is reflected in Clintons sky-high end-of-term popularity, which has dropped 12 points during the last three weeks, and in the damage done to Clintons post-office speaking fees (there are rumors that some invitations have been withdrawn and that protests were generated by Clintons first speech before a national investment house).
The American people, including Democrats, agree that Clinton lied under oath and admitted to it.
Last week, the independent counsel agreed not to prosecute Bill Clinton in exchange for Clintons admission that he gave false testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. In a statement about the agreement, Clinton said, "I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognize that I did not fully accomplish this goal and that certain of my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false." In his statement, do you think Clinton admits to lying under oath?
It is the Rich pardon that is the most controversial and will have the longest staying power. Several legal and congressional investigations have begun preliminary probes and the fallout could drag on for months. Most people oppose the pardon and believe it represents justice denied.
In the case of the pardon granted to Marc Rich, do you think this represent justice done or justice denied?
People also believe the pardon is a product of contributions and favors, not based on the facts of the case.
Which of the following do you think is more likely to be the reason former Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich: the facts supported a pardon, or Clinton received contributions and favors from Richs friends and family?
Even Gerald Fords pardon of Richard Nixon has more public support than Clintons pardon of Rich.
Every day brings a new revelation in the pardon story. On February 22, the story broke that Hugh Rodham, Senator Hillary Clintons brother, received $400,000 to assist two pardon applicants. (It appears the Enquire is becoming the newspaper most likely to cover Democrats in the late Clinton era.) With the Senators career on the line, she denied any knowledge of her brothers activities and incident in the pardons.
Ms. Clintons popularity with the public has been volatile for most of her time as first lady. Her popularity soared as a victim during the post-Lewinsky revelations. She is now hitting new lows both in New York and in a national Gallup Poll. Her current 49 percent has nearly as much negative favorability as positive, and is down from 56 percent in November.