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The media’s uniform cry of disbelief at George W.’s unprecedented
fund-raising efforts reveals just how out of touch they are about a
phenomenon they’ve been instrumental in perpetuating: Bill Clinton’s
contamination of the American presidency.

It also shows just how blind they are to the magnetic qualities of
Gov. Bush.

First, the Clinton factor:

Bush is popular in his own right, but a major part of his attraction
is his contrasting decency to that of the current administration. A
great majority of the electorate is putting its hope in W. to end this
era of corruption.

The breadth and depth of the Clinton scandals is astonishing; but
even more so is the fact that he has been allowed to skate. It couldn’t
have happened without the press.

From William Safire’s latest column, I learned of yet another Clinton
lie that has been ignored by the press. This lie, just like so many of
Clinton’s others, bears directly on his culpability in a certain
scandal.

Safire writes that former deputy White House counsel Jane Sherburne
asked Clinton’s personal attorney David Kendall to inquire of the
president whether he knew about the Lippo Group’s hush money payment to
Webster Hubbell. She was worried that an affirmative answer may mean
that Clinton had obstructed justice (note: in a matter that had nothing
remotely to do with sex).

Kendall supposedly checked with Clinton and reported to Sherburne
that it was not a problem. Yet sometime later, Clinton stated in a news
conference, “I didn’t personally know anything about it until I read
about it in the press.”

Why would Clinton have lied about this if he had nothing to hide
concerning the Hubbell hush money?

This is no different from Clinton being caught red-handed denying
that he’d been informed (much earlier than he’d admitted) about China’s
theft of our nuclear secrets. Bill Richardson and Chris Cox, among
others, left no doubt about this.

This is little different from today’s Washington Post revelation that
Clinton grossly exaggerated the extent of Serbian atrocities against
Kosovars in order to gin up support for his intervention in that civil
war.

In fact, this is little different from all the other Clinton lies
that have received scant initial press coverage and virtually no follow
up. Just two weeks after the release of the Cox Report (containing the
most disturbing revelations about security breaches in the history of
this nation, bar none), no news stories are to be found on the subject.

Despite the media’s cover, the truth of Clinton’s character has
finally filtered into the American psyche. Everyone but the most overtly
prejudiced die-hard liberals knows that Clinton is guilty of multiple
impeachable offenses and is unfit for office.

The American people are finally tired of the Clinton-Gore stench and
they are ready to clean house. They will apparently continue to cover
their ears and hold their noses about Clinton’s endless acts of
wrongdoing but they’ll vicariously impeach him by resoundingly rejecting
Al Gore, either in the primary or in the general election.

The “W.” factor:

Let’s not be fooled into believing that negatives alone can rally GOP
forces. It took both the negatives of Hillary Care and the positives of
the Contract With America to usher in the 1994 Republican congressional
majority.

All of the Clinton negatives were present in 1996 when Bob Dole
failed to energize the party around his candidacy. Even with eternal
optimist Jack Kemp on his ticket, he gave the voters little reason to
vote for him, other than to vote against Clinton.

Bush’s $36 million demonstrates that Republicans (and more) have been
galvanized again. George W. offers hope. Unlike some of his Republican
opponents, he is a winner, not a whiner. Like Ronald Reagan, he seems to
have the quality of making people feel good about themselves and about
their country again.

It’s clear that W. is not a policy wonk, but he’s a quick study and
exudes leadership, maturity and decency.

I am still not convinced that Bush is as conservative as I would
prefer, but I’m also not as suspicious about it as his detractors. His
record is more encouraging in that regard than some of his rhetoric.
And, actions speak louder than words.

The majority of American voters at last have grown weary of Clinton’s
corruption, his politics of personal destruction and his rhetorical
indictment of American self-reliance and entrepreneurship. They are
ready for a change. Right now, W. appears to represent the most likely
candidate to effectuate that change.

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