Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Have you heard the one about White House ethics?

Have you heard the one about White House ethics?

I saw an announcement on TV this afternoon from President Obama. Boy, did I get a powerful feeling of deja vu:

Bill Clinton came to Washington promising there would be no stain on his administration - it would be free of graft, corruption or any hint of wrongdoing. The highest ethical standards would be applied rigorously. Nominees for Cabinet posts would be expected to meet stringent codes of conduct, boasted the president's then-transition director Warren Christopher. There would be no Iran-Contra or Watergate scandals to poison the Clinton presidency. Four days after the election the president-elect promised "the most ethical administration in the history of the Republic."

-- Washington Times, April 17, 1995

In a memorandum to the heads of government departments and agencies, Bush said employees should not use public office for private gain. They should disclose waste, fraud, abuse and corruption to appropriate authorities."Everyone who enters into public service for the United States has a duty to the American people to maintain the highest standards of integrity in government," Mr. Bush said in the memo.

The memo, released less than two hours after Mr. Bush took the oath of office as America's 43rd president, followed Mr. Bush's campaign pledge to "restore honor and dignity" to the White House after the ethical lapses and scandals of the Clinton administration.

-- Reuters,  January 20, 2001

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Promising "a new era of openness in our country," President Obama signed executive orders Wednesday relating to ethics guidelines for staff members of his administration.

 "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," Obama said.

-- January 21, 2009.

Here's the news story I expect to see on Jan. 21, 2017:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hours after taking the oath of office in the wake of the scandal-plagued Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Reagan administrations, President Rodriguez yesterday released strict new ethical guidelines and promised his administration would be "the most honest since the time of Plato."

Under the new rules proposed by the 45th president, White House who so much as look at a lobbyist will be immediately fired, fitted with an ankle bracelet and not allowed to travel within an 100-mile radius of Washington for the next 35 years.

 

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Will Bunch
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