When asked on "Fox News Sunday" about a passage in the Starr report in which Clinton and Monica discuss the possibility that their phone sex was being tapped by a foreign government, Lieberman said: "Yes, that part of the report troubled me deeply."
At a National Press Club lunch on Oct. 1, 1998, Lieberman allowed as to how even his daughter was "troubled" by the president's behavior, and a woman he had met on the beach was also "very troubled." But of course, amid all this sense of "trouble" in the world, he voted to keep Clinton in office.
Lieberman was also troubled by Anita Hill's accusations against Clarence Thomas. (If Hill's unsupported allegations against Thomas had been all Clinton were forced to admit to, he would have been dancing a jig). But somehow Lieberman managed to emerge from his anguish and vote the party line. In a letter to constituents explaining his vote against Thomas, Lieberman assured them that he had spent "many agonizing hours of deliberation," before casting his vote.
In 1995, Sen. Lieberman signed a letter with Bill Bennett urging corporations to establish standards of decency for the airwaves. They wrote they were "deeply troubled" by trash TV. Then a year later, Lieberman joined with Rep. Lamar Smith in a similar campaign against Fox -- this time saying they were "especially troubled."
The one great thing about Gore's choice of Lieberman is that it is now beyond cavil that claims of Clinton's invincible popularity have been greatly exaggerated. Gore can't go to the bathroom without taking a poll, and somehow he ends up with a running mate who is the most vociferously anti-Clinton Democrat in the U.S. Senate. How did that happen?
It happened because the polls were wrong -- maybe wrongly interpreted or wrongly reported, but wrong. Clinton never got 50 percent of Americans to vote for him. But according to the polls, upon discovering that Clinton was molesting interns and hiding evidence, suddenly 80 percent of Americans adored the man. That's not possible.
Because Clinton was never punished, there's a deep sense of unfinished business in the country. This election is the Fred Goldman civil suit of politics. Gore taking Sen. Lieberman as his running mate is as good a strategy as O.J. hiring one of Nicole Simpson's relatives would have been. It's good, it's just not going to be good enough.
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