Focus on Bush: Leave Clinton’s career in the past

By Erica Fatland

Enough is enough.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has worn out his welcome.

Last month George W. Bush took his place as the 43rd president of the United States. It took awhile, with all the controversy in Florida and the infamous hanging chads for him to get there, but now the Oval Office is his, officially.

But it sure doesn’t seem so when one looks at any given newspaper, magazine or newscast. Bill is everywhere and it doesn’t look like he’s going away any time soon.

So much controversy surrounds his presidency in general that the press could, and have had, a hay day with him.

But it’s over now. Face the music, Bill, and just let it go.

I never have been one to delve deep into the caverns of politics. It’s not only a little confusing for me at times, but it just gets plain annoying, too. Too much backstabbing, too many two-faced people and, basically, too much hearsay.

By working at the Northern Star for the past couple years, I’ve witnessed both the good, but mostly the bad side of politicians. Sometimes I wonder if there is a good side, but I digress.

For some reason, it seems that the worst part of a person comes out in a Student Association meeting or a Student Senate hearing. Oh, it gets ugly.

Some senators and political leaders are in their position for the good of NIU and its students, I will give a few of them that.

On the other hand, a great majority, I think, are out for blood, and lots of it. Some of these supposed “respectable” leaders do exactly what Clinton is doing now & they stick around when they really don’t need, or are wanted, to be there anymore.

But, I’m sure we’ve all heard enough about the SA to last a lifetime.

So what’s to be done with good ol’ Bill? I wish the answer to that was easy.

The biggest focus on Mr. Clinton at the moment centers on his some 177 pardons that he gave out toward the very last days of his presidency. I know that this isn’t a very uncommon procedure for an outgoing big cheese to do, but COME ON, 177?

According to a recent Time magazine article (which Bill was on the cover of, go figure), former U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and Clinton each issued about 400 pardons, BUT, only 10 of Reagan’s actually got out of the White House.

If we were to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt, we could say that there were many more pressing matters, and pardonable people, for him to deal with compared to Reagan. Of course, I and the rest of the nation could think that, but I don’t think any of us with half a brain believes it.

There’s a reason why Clinton is pardoning all these people, many of whom don’t deserve to hold a public office anymore, let alone get a nice little waiver from him. Maybe he just can’t face the reality that now he’s not the most important person in America. Maybe he’s gotten so used to seeing himself on the cover of Newsweek that he had to do something, anything, to keep his name in print.

Take for example the pardons of Marc Rich and Pincus Green, two people who were indicted in 1983 in an oil trading scheme of sorts that cost the government some $50 million. How about Hugh Rodham and his involvement in the pardon of Almon Glenn Braswell, a man convicted of mail fraud, and coke dealer Carlos Vignali. The plot seems to thicken and thicken in the Rodham-Clinton family. It’s getting to be almost circus-like.

But, all joking aside, it’s time to throw in the towel.

Like it or not, we’ve got a new president. I don’t know if it’s Clinton’s or the press’ fault for concentrating so much on him, but now it’s time to change the focus a bit.

In my mind, what’s done is done. Sure, past mistakes and Clinton’s problems will be there. But the country’s future needs to be paid heed as well. Bush has hit the ground running. He’s ready for some tax cuts and a revamping of the Department of Education. By focusing too much attention on Clinton and what he DID, people will overlook what Bush is doing or is about to do. It’s crucial to pay attention to the here and now.

Who knows what the future will hold for the Clintons. Now that Hillary is a senator, more of the Clinton saga and scandal may be just around the corner. She may not be that much like her McDonald’s-loving, saxophone-toting and extra-marital-relationship-yearning husband, but she did spent almost a decade in the White House with him.

But because of all this, one thing’s for sure: It was nice to have a little controversy in the White House, especially for us journalists. Eight years’ worth may have been a little much, though. It’s time to look ahead.