Heard on the Street: Anything, Just Not Gore
Byline: Bill Granger
Pundits can't figure out why the public isn't more excited about President Clinton's sex acts.
The answer is in Hawaii. His name is Al Gore. He is on vacation.
If Clinton were impeached and removed from office, Gore would be president.
That is what fills so many with dread.
That is why people want Starr to shut up and go away and stop rattling the impeachment sword. Has nothing to do with Clinton. It has everything to do with Gore.
If you talk to people who work on the Chicago Board of Trade or the Chicago Board of Options Exchange in the Loop about this matter, you will find out that they dread Gore. That is probably the reason the stock market average leaped hundreds of points this week when it appeared that Clinton would apologize more or less for having sex with his intern and would stay in office, regardless. (The Dow was off 21 points Wednesday - just a hiccup from swallowing too fast on Monday and Tuesday.)
I talked with a CBOT man on Sunday before the speech and a CBOE man on Tuesday after the speech. Their dread of Gore reflected similar sentiments I have heard from other brokers and traders in the weeks leading up to our leader's famous moment of admitting non-appropriateness in actions. Like most Americans, the traders are here to make money, not to see justice done. They want to see justice, they tune in Court TV or plan to watch Judge Wapner's new show on the Animal Planet channel.
Mayor Daley's reaction to the speech - that it all should just end, finish, be done - is the reaction of the majorities surveyed nationally after Monday night. They excuse nothing - but they just don't want to hear any more about it. They are making money, living large, driving Beamers, eating well and worrying about the cost of High-definition TV sets. Is this a great country or what? They are tired of crises from Washington and think even less of politicians than politicians fear they do. Clinton turned out to be a liar. What else is new? Bush promised not to raise taxes. Every time a candidate say, for governor, says he is not sure if he will raise taxes if elected, the wary, cynical voter tightens his grip on the old wallet.
Surveys say the next voter turnout in November may be the lowest of this century. I'd bet on it.
Political writers and commentators are most interested in big political stories because that is what they do for a living. That is why TV and papers are filled with political stories which are cheap and easy to produce. But political reporters are becoming as extinct as crime reporters, who used to own the front pages of newspapers until surveys said people were not as interested in crime news as newspapers thought they were. Crime news went down even if there is still a lot of crime. Unfortunately, politics filled the space vacuum. …