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Local Residents Voice Opinions on Clinton's Address, Senate Trial

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RALEIGH — Many people will be watching when the President speaks Tuesday. Many people will be waiting to see if he mentions the impeachment trial.

Others simply want the President to focus on the business of running our country.

Some people will watch the address because they are curious. Others will watch because they genuinely care about what the President has to say.

White House spokesmen say anyone expecting fireworks will be disappointed. The President intends to give a straightforward speech and not mention the impeachment.

Here in North Carolina, people will be watching with anticipation.

You don't see a rally supporting the President every day. Some people believe Congress should stop the impeachment trial and get back to business.

"We're going to protest and continue to protest until they hear and receive what the people have to say," said rally organizer Christine Williams.

Clinton supporters hope the trial will not distract the President during his address.

"I mean if you were living under this pressure, how would you feel? I'm praying for him, I'm praying for all of us. God willing, wisdom will triumph," said Clinton supporter Clara Milko.

But Clinton's detractors say it's impossible to be unbiased.

"Nobody takes Bill Clinton seriously any more. It's a disgrace that he's doing it. It's his perogative. If I was a representative, I wouldn't attend it, and I don't want my representatives from North Carolina to attend it," said Clinton opponent G.R. Quinn.

Many people are concerned that Clinton has already lost his power.

"A lot of people are going to think well that sounds wonderful in practice, but this president doesn't have leverage to get that," said Andrew Taylor, and N.C. State political scientist.

Political analysts say drama, not issues, will draw the biggest audience.

The White House staff has released figures showing how the President's Administration has helped each state.

They boast that here in North Carolina, Clinton and Gore have lowered unemployment, created more than 570,000 jobs and gotten nearly 170,000 people off of welfare.

But local Republicans say it is unfair for the President to take all the credit for the state's successes.


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