Robert Reich

September 21, 1998
Over the last few weeks as the scandal in the White House has unfolded, I've tried not to write too many commentaries on the President. When I have written on the scandal, it has usually been to quote from one of the President's friends. Last Monday I talked about Senator Joseph Lieberman's speech. Today I would like to talk about a column by Robert Reich.

Mr. Reich was President Clinton's first Secretary of Labor and close ally. That is what makes his recent column in the Wall Street Journal all the more powerful. While he dismisses Kenneth Starr's report, he goes on to talk about two offenses by President Clinton that he believes will lead to the president's future ineffectiveness.

The first offense Mr. Reich cites is the president's character flaw or compulsion. He points out that the president's "inappropriate" relationship occurred just months before the 1996 presidential election and four years after he almost lost the Democratic nomination over charges of sexual recklessness. It was also at a time when corporations, universities, and the military were under heightened scrutiny for permitting men in positions of power to exploit female subordinates sexually.

The second offense cited by Mr. Reich is what he calls "the public lie." He says the president has mastered television and like the great method actors feels the emotions he expresses. Nevertheless, he says they are still performances.

Robert Reich worries that the president has lost the trust of the American people. He says, "Without trust, Mr. Clinton has only the public's approval of how he is doing his job, which rests largely on the continued strength of the economy--a perilous foundation."

In essence, he is saying that the president seems to lack judgment and seems to have lost the trust of the American people. If he's right, then the president will be ineffective the rest of his term.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International