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Million Dollar Bill Makes His Rounds - May 20, 1997

Richard Brian McCarty

I am a NASCAR stock car racing fan. I admire the guts of drivers who drive at speeds of up to 180mph a foot away from a concrete wall. I admire the mechanical genius that builds the cars for competition. One of the drivers, Bill Elliot, earned the name "Million Dollar Bill" for winning the Winston million some years ago. Even though I like Elliot, I am afraid his name is more fitting for another Bill.

The President of the United States is more aptly dubbed " Million Dollar Bill." A few short weeks after promising to work for campaign finance reform and speaking of the ills of money in politics, Million Dollar Bill and his sidekick, Al " Gore you for more money," have committed themselves to raise money for the Democratic party.

It seems that the Democratic party is having a hard time paying its debts after it had to return the illegal funds it raised. So now, the Dream Team of fund raising is riding to the rescue, ready to use the full power and weight of the prestige of their offices. And, the President is making this contribution while on crutches. What a hero! The double talk of the Clinton/Gore fund raising duo would have most of us in deep trouble.

Just imagine if your employer approached you about missing too many days at work. After talking with him, and understanding he was upset, you commit to being at work more. You even submit an elaborate plan to him telling him how you will go about being at work more. Two weeks later, you submit an application for a two week leave of absence.

Chances are, you would be fired. And, if you were not fired, you would nix any chances at promotion or pay raises. Pick the issues that you face in any aspect of life. If you say one thing, and do another, it eventually catches up with you in the real world.

But, the political world is such a different place. Despite the fact that Million Dollar Bill's boss ( the people) told him they were upset with how money is raised, and the President's pleas for reform, the President goes out and raises money. He is like the school boy who is planning his next prank while promising the principal he will never play pranks again.

But, Million Dollar Bill is no school boy. He is the President of the United States. To much of the outside world, he is what represents the United States. I expect more from a President.

I even allowed myself to hope for more from this President. I hoped that President Clinton, free from re-election, would remember how great the nation he rose from a lower class home in rural Arkansas to the White House was. I hoped he would be bigger than politics and be a President.

But, apparently, President Clinton would rather hobble to the money machine instead of to the history books. I am sincerely disappointed. Bill Clinton is missing his chance to be a strong President who stands for cleaning up the fund raising mess. And, America is missing out on having a President, instead of Million Dollar Bill, answering the phone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Mr. President, you missed your chance at history you crave, and we all are the worse off for it.

Richard Brian McCarty has worked on several political campaigns of conservatives. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and a BS degree from Lander University. An experienced writer, McCarty's columns are written from a distinctly Southern point of view. He is sometimes Southern, sometimes conservative, sometimes humorous, and sometimes all three.

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