Time: Sun Jul 27 11:54:11 1997
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Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997 11:52:43 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]

>>Please read this farewell op-ed by James Adams, reporter for the (London)
>>Sunday Times, as he leaves his post covering Washington. And then share it
>>with a friend who has not yet joined the Reform Party. Perhaps this will
>>it happen.
>>Donna D. 
>>The Sunday Times
>>July 27 1997
>>James Adams, who is leaving The Sunday Times, reflects on five years as our
>>correspondent in Washington and a president who betrayed his people 
>>BILL CLINTON came towards me, arm outstretched, a welcoming smile on his
>>face. Like almost everyone who has met the president, I was immediately
>>embraced by his charisma and his obvious intelligence as well as being
>>flattered by his apparent interest in my few meaningless social remarks. 
>>This was in January 1992 when he was the newly elected president, a
>>46-year-old chubby former governor of Arkansas, and I was the newly arrived
>>Washington correspondent. The occasion was the Renaissance Weekend, a
>>gathering in South Carolina of 1,500 friends, acquaintances and "wannabes"
>>brought together by Phil Lader, America's next ambassador to Britain. 
>>An invitation had come my way through a close friend of Clinton's who
>>thought the occasion needed a little light relief from a foreign quarter.
>>ostensible purpose of the weekend was to talk about "personal and national
>>renewal" in a group that seemed committed to feel my pain. 
>>My contribution to the affair was a learned talk on the similarities between
>>fly fishing and Machiavelli, an event attended by the few who knew the
>>difference between a Blue Winged Olive and an Adams Irresistible.  Most of
>>Clinton's future cabinet was there and my involvement in the weekend was to
>>gain me entry to many interesting places in the years ahead as other
>>participants assumed my invitation must have come from the president
>>I left the weekend convinced that Clinton and his wife Hillary were an
>>outstanding choice to lead the world's last remaining superpower. They were
>>smart, funny, self-effacing and charismatic and they were from my generation
>>with an apparent understanding of the needs and ambitions of the children
>>had grown up in the heady days of flower power and protest. 
>>This view had been reinforced in the preceding months of the election
>>campaign. Following George Bush, the Republican candidate, around the
>>it was clear that he and his party were tired and out of touch with the
>>people. Clinton, by contrast, connected wherever he went and there was an
>>infectious enthusiasm to his campaign. That enthusiasm among the press and
>>public swept Clinton into the White House and temporarily masked the obvious
>>signs of an immoral and amoral man with a deeply flawed character which were
>>to become evident once he took office. 
>>It was with a profound sense of disillusionment and eventually anger,
>>therefore, that I watched as the man I had thought represented my generation
>>emerged as one of the worst examples of the old ways. First there was the
>>Whitewater debacle, then the repeated bimbo eruptions, the Paula Jones
>>harassment case and the stories from insiders of a man who clearly cannot
>>a principle without wanting to compromise it. 
>>Of course, there have been corrupt American presidents before. But what was
>>so dispiriting to watch was the effect one man could have on a city and
>>ultimately on the whole nation. As corruption and compromise became the
>>of business, the standard to which people and policies were held fell
>>Officials remained in office who had taken bribes, kept mistresses, and lied
>>about it. Others, taking their lead from the president, refined dissembling
>>and dishonesty to an art form. Far from being the open and honest
>>administration Clinton had promised, it became one of the most corrupt in
>>What made this especially galling was that I had identified so closely with
>>Clinton and his people.  Now I found he was just another sleazy politician
>>and I was becoming just another cynical journalist. 
>>The Republicans seemed little different. Newt Gingrich, the standard-bearer
>>of a new and dynamic Republican party, got away with paying a $300,000 fine
>>for lying to Congress and allowed to remain in office. 
>>However, the problems America has been grappling with as it marches towards
>>the new century are not simply rooted in its lack of moral leadership.  The
>>Clinton presidency has coincided with the end of the cold war and a growing
>>sense of isolation across America, fuelled by a media obsessed with sex,
>>violence and trivia. 
>>The percentage of foreign news on network television declined from 41% in
>>1990 to 23% just five years later. The average length of those stories
>>dropped from 1.7 minutes to 1.2 minutes. While Americans became more
>>about foreign affairs, the world looked for leadership and found none.
>>Instead, there was a dispiriting mix of opportunism, as illustrated by Gerry
>>Adams dancing in the White House as Clinton cynically tried to woo the
>>Irish-American vote, and a lack of strategic vision, illustrated by
>>policy of appeasement towards China for short-term economic goals. 
>>Such strategies have added to the sense of disillusionment and a feeling
>>I might be watching a great nation in terminal decline. Certainly, as I
>>to work through the potholes of Washington's streets or heard yet another
>>story about corruption in the nation's capital and saw another broken-down
>>police car, it sometimes seemed as if I was in a Third World city. 
>>Yet there is another side to Washington. The church my wife and I attend is
>>filled to capacity every Sunday. It has an excellent children's choir called
>>the God Squad and a congregation of young and old who take pride in their
>>faith. Such dedication is reflected all across this Gomorrah on the Potomac
>>where all faiths have a devoted following. It is the same story across
>>America, where strong beliefs exist beside extraordinary violence and
>>apparently few moral virtues. 
>>A survey conducted earlier this month revealed that 96% of Americans
>>in God, 90% pray regularly, 71% believe in an afterlife and 41% attend
>>once a week. Another poll found that 3% of the population believe they are
>>Such revelations reflect the America I have come to love: on the one hand
>>there are people who have a high sense of moral purpose. On the other hand,
>>there are enough kooks, wackos and slightly mad folk to keep journalists
>>for many years to come. 
>>The past five years have provided the opportunity for all the extremists to
>>have their say. The arrival of the Internet has provided the first forum in
>>history for all the disaffected to gather in one place to exchange views and
>>reinforce prejudices.  It is hardly surprising, for example, that the
>>right-wing militias' favorite method of communication is e-mail and that
>>forums on the Internet are the source of many of the wild conspiracy
>>that drive the media. 
>>Among the vast majority of the American people and the small minority of
>>extremists, recent years have seen a disconnection from government in
>>and Washington in particular. Such is the level of distrust and disgust,
>>people outside Washington see their nation's capital as a home to a group of
>>self-serving politicians whose work is largely irrelevant to the lives of
>>ordinary working folk. 
>>The trouble with the perception is that it is largely accurate. This may be
>>the greatest country in the world but politically it is driven by a process
>>so corrupt that it resembles the kind of hopeless nation Americans feel
>>impelled to reform. In a democracy, such a disconnection between a people
>>its government is disturbing. 
>>The information age, however, is truly giving power back to the people and
>>Americans have shown themselves supreme masters of their own fate. Left
>>alone, the best of the Americans are clever, hard-working, principled and
>>creative and these qualities have made the United States the most powerful
>>economy in the world. 
>>The leadership vacuum needs to be fixed, however.  A nation that has always
>>needed a sense of moral purpose needs the leadership to find its way through
>>the uncertainties of a post-cold war world. As families disintegrate, inner
>>cities divide along racial lines and the nation state is threatened by the
>>growth of the Infosphere, America needs a man in the Oval Office who wants
>>more than to win friends and a place in history. 
>>After five years in Washington, I may be leaving The Sunday Times but I am
>>not leaving America.  I have fallen in love with the country and its people
>>and remain convinced that the nation will triumph over the crises that lie
>>ahead. These will show the people the true nature of the leaders they have
>>elected and real political change will inevitably follow. Americans will do
>>what they do best: adapt to a new world and make it their own. ###
>>Matthew Campbell, Foreign Editor of The Sunday Times and the newspaper's
>>former Moscow correspondent, is to succeed James Adams as Washington
>>Copyright 1997 The Times Newspapers Limited.

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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