Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Monday, August 9, 1999

Pure power is what
drives the Clintons

IT'S amazing that people keep wasting perfectly good brain cells trying to figure out why the Clintons do the things they do and say the things they say.

You don't need to psychoanalyze these people. You don't need to parse their sentences, put them under oath (an apparent impossibility, anyway) or dissect their lifestyles.

There is simply one word that motivates their every breath, their very reason for living. That word is "power."

Their entire being is devoted to the accumulation and exercise of power. Their need for power is like the man-eating plant in "The Little Shop of Horrors." They nurture it. They protect it. Their hunger for power must be fed daily.

In their quest for power, they recognize no rules, vows, laws or oaths. It is a wonderful world to live in. You are freed from any concerns about family, marriage, loyalty, trust, religion or truth.

Here's how easy it is to understand the Clintons, once you know what the magic word is:

Why did Clinton run for governor of Arkansas? Power.

Why did he want to be president? Power.

Why did he feel he could victimize women who worked for him? Power.

Why did he lie under oath about it? Power.

Why has Hillary stayed with him all these years? Power.

Why is she running for senator from New York? Power.

Why does she pretend she's "listening" to New Yorkers when she's actually using them as a stepping stone to higher office? Power.

Why did she lie about having possession of the Rose law firm billing records? Power.

Why did she fire the White House travel office staff? Power.

Why did the Clintons collect FBI files on their enemies? Power.

Why did the president arrange for the entire New York baseball team to come to the White House and pose with Hillary on the lawn? Power.

We could go on and on. The thing is, everyone is finally figuring this out, including some who have stuck with the Clintons for the past seven years. Rob Morse, the liberal columnist from San Francisco, expresses the anger felt by those on the left. He accuses the Clintons of abusing the nation, particularly liberals, stabbing them in the back over everything from welfare reform to gay rights.

"I just want the Clintons to go away," Morse wrote recently.

That was predictable. In their hearts, the left-wingers knew the Clintons were never with them. They knew they were being used by the Clintons in their raw quest for power. But they cynically accepted the Clintons because they had no other choice.

Only the hardest core lefties are standing by the Clintons now, the Barbara Streisands, the Jane Fondas and the Eleanor Clifts. In the coming months, liberals like Morse will flee from the Clintons in droves, exposing their own character flaws, the most glaring being a complete lack of loyalty. Their job now is to get Al Gore elected. They are done with bubba.

Unfortunately, for Morse and, I suppose, all of us, the Clintons will not go away. There is no "away" for them to go to. They are power junkies looking for their next fix. If Hillary doesn't win in New York, she'll run in Illinois. Or Arkansas. Or Guam.

The power monster on their backs will forever say "feed me."

Charles Memminger, winner of
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite"
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802

or send E-mail to or

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