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Readers's Views on Clinton's Speech
Clinton, Lewinsky, Starr
Did the president's speech answer your questions?

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I would just like to ask each of the persons pointing their fingers at President Clinton, Are you so innocent? Do your wives and husbands know all of your dirty little secrets. Mr. Clinton was elected to do a job, why don't we let him finish the job. I'm sure that Ken Starr has a few ghost's in his closet. And I'm sure that it will take less than 40 million to find dirt on him. Maybe he would like to be terrorized for a while.
Lisa Roudebush
Lafayette, IN



Of course he didn't answer the questions. The fact that a news organization could even consider that he might have answered anyone's serious question worries me.
Douglas Frisbie
Vicksburg, Michigan



When I attended the US Army Infantry Officer Candidate School in 1970, our instructors impressed upon us the necessity to adhere to the Schools Honor Code. Similar to that of West Point, the Code we lived by said that we "would neither lie, nor cheat, nor tolerate those who do." Absolute honesty in dealings with each other, and as officers, with our subordinates was considered a vital characteristic in gaining the willing obedience of soldiers to orders, often in the face of death. Mr. Clinton has answered my question of his fitness to lead. He has lied, and we should not tolerate him.
Dexter Alexander
Somerset, Kentucky



No! Of course, there was no question in my mind as to his fundamental dishonesty. Yesterday's speech simply confirmed that. The president is a liar. What troubles me most however is the willingness of so many Americans to dismiss this as simply a private matter about sex. This is not about sex. It is about perjury, subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice. The question on my mind is why is it that so many people don't realize that as president, he is sworn to uphold the constitution and enforce the laws of the land? He is the chief law enforcement officer in the country. Can this nation afford to let someone with so little regard for the law enforce the law? Also, if he gets away with this, we will have defined a class of crimes that the president can commit with impunity. Besides perjury, subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice, what other crimes is a president free to commit? These are my questions, and no, he did not answer them.
Jim Nicholson
Dallas



Clinton has to be told what to say in every situation. He should run Harry Thomason and his old lady out of town and resign. Clinton wouldn't know honor if it came up and gave him oral sex!
Cam Byrd
Dunn, NC



Yes, It answered my question regarding his character and ability to tell the truth. What is not answered is how he could humiliate his wife in front of the entire world. That is some deep hostility operating there. IT staggers the mind the contemplate the recklessness of his conduct for himself, his family and for us, the Americans he represents in the world.
Elizabeth Darcy
Wilmette Illinois



I never asked for an explanation to begin with. His private life is his own business. It was the vultures in the news media who were salivating for salacious details. I would have been happy if he had not said anything.
mary louise bates
new york



The man is a disgrace and a sham. He has been lying to the American public since he ran for Attorney General in Arkansas. How he has continued to con the country I will never, ever, understand.
J.F. Kellett
Wasted, NJ



President Clinton could not have answered my questions. I have too many - and his speech was far too short. I am saddened by the fact that his speech was just that - a speech. He would have gone miles, in my opinion, had he merely spoken from his heart and expressed his sorrow and remorse. He did not. That decision, whomever made it, was a bad one. If it were possible for President Clinton to step down and allow Hillary to run our country - I would be highly in favor of that. She very obviously deserves the highest award for courage. It is her that I feel for.
Kelea Michele Edgar Nevis
Monterey, California



As I see it, this had nothing to do with national security, the economy, or our day to day lives. Get a life people.
R. Maiorca
Windham Ohio



I think President Clinton's behavior during this whole process has been appalling. I, too, don't want to pry into the man's personal life. But I must question Mr. Clinton's judgment and credibility. I question his judgment because of the stupidity of fooling around with an intern; his credibility because he lied to the American people about something he just could easily have admitted to seven months ago and gone on in life. In answer to the Washington Post question, my answer is no. No, the speech did little to convince me that Mr. Clinton is hiding something about his efforts to persuade the intern to keep the entire affair to herself. My biggest problem with this whole thing is that Mr. Clinton somehow believes he's above the law and I feel that's just wrong. Don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of Kenneth Starr, but why doesn't Clinton just tell the truth and stop abusing the English language to hide his wrongdoing
S. Bustos
Miami



Yes, because I did not have that many. People talk about the morality of the office of president but there is no true morality at any level of politics. We have no right to expect politicians to be any different then any other mortal men. Why don't we deal with the real issue which is bunch of Republicians & Conservatives who still haven't come to grips with the fact that they have been evicted from the White House. They speak of smoke screens from the president, but what have the Republicians really done since they have held the majority in congress. Nothing productive at all. All they have done is cry about Clinton being in office. What a sorry bunch of hypocrites.
Rev. Charles R. Davis Sr.
Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania



His responses in the Paula Jones deposition were not reconciled by what he said in his speech. His "couldn't remember whether he and Monica were ever alone" is a baldfaced lie. That statement under oath has to be perjury. Did he think what he said on television erased what he had said when deposed? About the only way he can convince the American people his philandering days are over is to submit to chemical castration (documented, of course).
Joe Foraker
Mission Viejo, CA



No, it did not. The President said his answers to questions in the deposition were "legally accurate." Does that mean he had "inappropriate conduct" but truly does not know whether he and she were alone, or whether others were present each time they had a sexual encounter?
Fred Kullman
Belingham, WA



I'm am not willing to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt. What he did is unacceptable for a President and I do not consider his actions as private or personal. When he quits riding in Air Force 1, he can claim that his actions are private. He is not like us. He is the President. Any CEO, General, or for that matter Senator, would be fired for such actions. Just ask ed.
James Corley
Lucedale, MS



Yes, I now know for sure that the President had some kind of sex with a 21 year old girl. Next week I suppose that he will apologize for dropping his pants in front of Paula Jones. The following week he might even apologize to Kathleen Willey about groping her in the Oval Office. We can all look forward to his nationwide address apologizing for allowing US Companies to send missile technology to China. A man is certainly entitled to his privacy but not at the expense of America. I applaud Ken Sta rr for starting the avalanche of projected apologies yet to come.
James W. Nevis
Monterey, CA



No, the President is a man of horrible character. If this was a work place and he was a married boss having sex with a 21 intern then he would be fired. Then the shifting of blame to Kenneth Starr, had nothing to gain from this, a man who was nearly a Supreme Court Justice, made me angry. President Clinton proved in the speach that he is a man of no moral values, and that type of man shouldn't be in office. The worst part is that the American people seem to not care, or still support him. How could a woman still support him after what he admitted to? I guess the real question to ask here is this: If the election was today between Clinton and Gore who would you vote for? I would vote for Gore. Impeach him.
Bruce Davis Wilkinson, Jr.
Marshall, VA



Bill Clinton is finally in a fight that isn't an election... and this time he's going to lose.
Randy Chriss
Beavercreek, Ohio



No! He assumed little blame for his actions and then, as he is famous for, accused Ken Starr for his problems. Judge Starr did not cause Mr. Clinton to do the acts that he did nor did he cause him to lie in the Jones case. Everyone keeps saying that all presidents have lied, and that is true, but what is left out of news reports is that none of them, except Mr. Clinton, was sworn by oath to tell the truth in a court of law. Makes a big difference. What bothers me the most about the President's spee ch is that almost every one who heard it and now reports about it, states that the President apologized for his actions to the people. I have read and reread his statement, there is no apology, not even a hint of one. Someone is sure doing a bad job of reporting.
De Drum
Long Beach



I think he was, and is, perfectly justified in being angry. And there's no conflict between saying "I take full responsibility for what I did" and being angry at Ken Starr for dragging into the public arena. So many people have said, "Why was he on the offensive in his speech?" I didn't see a man on the offensive, but a man on the DEfensive--a man saying, "OK, I've said it. Now get the HELL away from my private life and my family!" I found myself respecting Clinton more in that moment of emotional candor, than the whole time I've been watching. He was real, he was beaten down and angry, and he was fiercely defending his family.
Fiona Webster
Houston, Texas



No. He skated. Taking responsibility means accepting consequences, but he seems unwilling. Otherwise, this would have been over long, long ago. He's had seven months worth of press conferences, interviews, and photo ops where he flatly denied the allegations. I think he has simply painted himself into a corner. In this case, that corner is the Oval Office. Ken Starr has a duty to complete what he began. I think he will do that. Warts and all.
Lance E. Zechinato
Elkridge, MD



No (he told us what we already "knew.") On the contrary, his speech has raised more questions. When someone does something "sexually inappropriate" in his office, how to draw the line between official and private? Already the President's admission have disappointed, humiliated, and hurt most of the American public, can such an extend of impact be considered a solely private matter, none of others' business? When a president costs so much tax payers' money for misleading his own people, can we say his private life has nothing to do with the public? As the economy is good, many think the President is doing a good job, thus his private conduct is inmaterial. But, being a president is not just a matter of bringing in good life. In time of crisis such as a war, or in the much touted campaign of "human rights," can the president exercise the needed moral authority? Can Americans speak against corruption and totalitarianism in Asia while having a president whose integrity is being questioned? I guess Amer icans will be in this dilemma for a long time: ignore the President's scandals and continue to enjoy good times; deal with the scandals squarely and worry about the economy.
Sam Goh
Glenside, PA



No. He is now and always will be a liar who says only as much as he thinks he needs to and only after his polling is done to find the right words to use. Truthtellers don't need to parse their words. Go home, Clintons!
Gerry Warren
Salem, Oregon



You could tell in the first minute of Bill Clinton's speech that he was forced to make it, it wasn't from the bottom of his heart. He had to make the speech because he hung his family, friends and supports out to dry by lying all these years. After the second minute or so you could tell all he wanted to do is blame someone else for all the wrong things he has done in the past. He never said he was sorry, now this is probably the truth. The only reason he apologized to the world is because he got ca ught with his hand in the cookie jar.
John C. Williams
Glenshaw, Pennsylvania



Did the President's speech answer my questions? I really didn't have very many questions? It did verify that he did have an affair with Monica, he did lie about it, and that he has no moral character. It did reinforce in my mind the belief that President Clinton is a lier and should step down or be impeached. I do agree that how he and his family deal with his unfaithfulness is their business but that doesn't in any way change the fact that he lied under oath and he must be held responsible for the se actions.
Miriam
Rapid City, SD



No I do not. The President is the only one lying (excuse me misleading) the Nation. The President is responsible for the mess that we are now witnessing. If he truly wants to but this behind him, he will have to perform the unnatural act of telling the truth. If the truth were known there would be no need for a Grand Jury to be in session. Unfortunately our President does no have the courage or morality to bring this to a close by himself.
Harold Schoepflin
Lakridge Va



President Clinton failed to provide an adequate answer for his wrong doing. In fact, as he attempted to explain his reasons for misleading the people of this nation, he placed the blame on others. That is not repentance! My kids will be affected by this shameful scandal. Isn't that a shame? Whatever a man that shall he also reap!
Doug Keller
Akron, Ohio



I think Mr. Clinton did answer the essential question about having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. I think everyone knows he did. I believe the initial probe into his sex life in the Paula Jones case was inappropriate to begin with. When dealing with sex lies, especially being the major public figure that he is, I understand the embarrassment he must have felt and sex lies are different than lies about more serious matters such as Iran Contra, Watergate or situations where a major coverup was taking place. Unfortunately, most of our leaders have or will lie to the public on a variety of issues that concern real problems in our country. I think that if the President goes under the scrutiny of sexual matters, there will be a backlash wereby many other political figures in both parties will go under investigation by other investigators. Perhaps revealing more than we need to know.
Don Yoshida
Chicago



I did not have a question in the first place, because I can not see why what he does in his private life and time has any thing to do with me. My having a question for it means that I am saying it is ok for some one to have a say in my private life. Maybe it is time we create royalty and start grooming our future presidents because if we have to get our presidents from amongst us then we should allow who ever it is the privacy we all want for our selves. I can see how watergate affects my life, I can see how Iran Contra Affects my life but I don't see how having sex with a willing partner affects my life. Those of you looking up to an elected official to instill moral discipline to your children are to me parental failures looking for an excuse.
Kristoff
Los Angeles



In classic Clinton-speek, the president tried to tell us that he lied to us, but didn't lie to the Paula Jones grand jury. And, we should blame Ken Starr. So, yes he answered my question of whether he finally matured to the point where he has gained enough character to lead this nation. The answer is a resounding NO!
Dave
Frederick, MD



yes, the President did okay. As a matter of fact nobody has the right to ask him questions about his sexual desires and relationships. I wonder what you or me would say, if we were to answer all these unlucky questions by people who want to harm a man, who has been most probably the best American President since JFK. He has to be judged by his work and not by his sexual affairs.
Dr. J.T. Peters
Dinslaken, Germany



Some fundamental questions remain unanswered. Did the President lie about not remembering his intimate encounters with Lewinsky? How can he attempt to shift blame on the grand jury investigation when he, in fact, has misled and stonewalled the investigation for the past seven months? Why should we believe anything he now tells us?
Frank
Washington, D.C.



No. I expected him to apologize to the voters/taxpayers for weakening the presidency, and for wasting so much policy-making time on this irresponsible stupidity. Note that I am a committed backer of Clinton's public policies, however much I despise his childish behavior.
J. Rose
Kailua, Hawaii



No, I still have questions about whether he committed perjury or encouraged others to lie. He cannot be trusted, having admitted lying on Lewinsky case what about all the other times he has lied?
PDickerson
Franklin NY



The President is a coward and a disgrace to this Country. He had the perfect opportunity to state his case to the american public and he choose to blame everyone else along with himself. He didn't even have the guts to apologize to the people he has deceived for oh so long. If I had to go in front of the cameras or grand jury on his behalf prior to his confession I would be extremely angry
Daniel Miller
Pittsburgh, PA



No. He dodged the main issue again by hiding behind a bunch of legalese and shifting the blame to Ken Starr. As for forgiveness, sure, we can forgive Clinton, but we MUST not let him simply get away without any disciplinary action. To do so would be absolutely disgraceful and a shame to our morals and conscience.
Sounil Yu
Falls Church, VA



Although I heard the President say that he regretted his actions, but, I never did hear him apologize. He should have at least told Hillary that he was sorry. I was very disappointed that Mr. Clinton tried to push the blame off on Mr. Starr. I thought that he was willing to accept the "full responsibility" for his actions? Apparently not. Indeed, this investigation has taken a long time and has cost millions -- much of which has directly to do with the President's delaying tactics. How much does a closed circuit video testimony cost anyway? Does anyone really believe that Mr. Clinton would have testified (or spoke to the nation about his testimony, for that matter) on his own accord? I don't. Lastly, Mr. Clinton clearly fails to recognize his position as a role model for the rest of the country, particularly for our children.
Scott
Reno, Nevada



Since we live in a democracy, rather than a monarchy or a theocracy, I don't look to the presidency for moral or spiritual leadership. I don't CARE about President Clinton's personal life, I consider Kenneth Starr to be totally out of control, I am horrified at the amount of money that has been wasted on this issue, and I think Starr has seriously eroded the legal status of the institution of the presidency. My question is: How do we pull the plug on Kenneth Starr?
Sarah Larson
Reston, VA



The President's speech was insincere; even arrogant. He never said he was truly sorry. His whining about lack of privacy is pathetic. By attacking Mr. Starr, Mr. Clinton is not looking in the mirror. What about Kathleen Wiley, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, et al?. I really believe our President needs professional counseling, but not from his Attorneys...
G Edward
San Diego



Absolutely not!!! The real tragedy is finding out how depraved our nation really is. I am convinced that so many people have a hard time condemning him for adultery because they lack the integrity necessary to remain faithful themselves. I find that a person's response to this issue is as much a reflection of their own personal morals (or lack of), as it is their feelings on the economy. Integrity can't be relegated to a set of "important" character traits. You either have integrity IN ALL AREAS, or y ou lack integrity. Why would anyone trust someone with such an obvious lack of integrity to lead our country, command our young men & women in the military, control our nukes? We should treat this with the utmost of urgency, contact our Congressmen, and DEMAND IMPEACHMENT!
Joe
Reston



President Clinton's speech was PERFECT under the circumstances. Anyone who has followed his presidency knows that the entire 6 years the republicans have been out to get him. I hope they enjoyed their champagne last night. Orrin Hatch, the republican choirboy, represents all that is bad in our country today. He will have his way, or find a way to get you and hide his hand. We will all REAP WHAT WE SOW.
James Ganz
Columbia, SC



1) There is no such thing as consensual sex between a 22 year old intern and the president of the United States. 2) President Clinton has a history of solving his lady problems with the taxpayers money - Jennifer Flowers was given a state job in Arkansas; Kathleen Wiley was given a full time job and later represented the US on foreign missions. 3) Can we afford to trust him now?
Michael E. Bail
Lima, Peru



Mr. Clinton did not say whether he discussed with Lewinsky the testimony to be given at the Paula Jones deposition or Lewinsky's affidavit. He did not say whether he knew of Lewinsky's affidavit before he testified at the deposition. He did not say whether he was "forthcoming" when his deposition answer to the question of whether he had been alone with Lewinsky was that he did not recall. He did not apologize for allowing his staff, friends and spokespeople to state publicly both directly and indirectly that Lewinsky was a liar and, therefore, incredible.
A.F. Loflin
Durham, NC



Since when does having sex with a young employee in the office constitute a private matter. Don't these people work for us? Have we no say in the conduct in the workplace that we ultimately own? Where is the apology to Monica's parents? What about Paula Jones' right to her day in court? Can the president deny you of your rights because the facts are too embarrassing to admit? He could have settled the Jones lawsuit and not subjected all of us to this embarrassment. He is so arrogant that he thought he could get away with it. Abuse of power? Hillary could not be a worse example young women who look up to her. I hope Chelsea can break the cycle of emotional abuse that has been the example in her homelife.
Allison
tolland, ct



Clinton's speech included not one "I apologize" or "I'm sorry." He denied having "sexual relations" with Lewinsky in January but admitted only to an "inappropriate relationship" in his speech. I for one was insulted. I saw no contrition what-so-ever. He regrets the incident. Yea, and I regret not winning the lottery but that clearly is not the same as being sorry in the sense that I did something wrong. For the record, what goes on in the residence section of the White House is your private business. What goes on in the rest of the White House is the public s business Mr. President.
E. Williams
Savannah, GA



No. My question was does he have a shred of dignity , decency or honor? If he had he would have announced his resignation last night. Instead he played word games such as "legally accurate" then attacked his own justice dept, attempting to shift the focus from the consequences of his own actions, as usual.
Barry Hendershot
Chillicothe, Ohio



Words are cheap; actions are not. This President has to work hard to regain any respect and I suspect that he will not, in fact, cannot. His speech was a ragged compodium of roughly related ideas from various people. Will the real Clinton stand up? Tom Campbell
Tom Campbell
Middletown, OH



The president seemed typically angry at "the system" which would hold him accountable for atrociously bad behavior. His responses reminded me a person who is condescending and abusive, especially to women. The best and most graceful thing he could do for the country is to resign.
F. Moncrief
New York City



Not really!!He used this speech to blame on Ken W. Starr which is wrong. To my opinion, President Clinton publicly denied this allegation in the Paula Jones's case. Therefore, it is not Ken W. Starr who is intruding into President Clinton's private life. The one should be blamed is Mr. Clinton himself.
Theresa Nguyen
Falls Church



No he did not. He has a right to privacy, but not in the people's office, and not to marshall the resources of that office to cover his now admitted lies.
Mike
Asheville, NC



I think the president told us more than we need to know. His private life is of no concern to me. as long as he has been president the republicans have been trying to get something on him.Maybe the first lady was right when she said they were out to get him
Gerald Hunt
Chula Vista, Ca.

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