Paul Wellstone on "Larry King Live": a revealing exchange

28 January 1999

On January 23 Senator Paul Wellstone, Democrat from Minnesota, appeared as a guest on the "Larry King Live Weekend" program on CNN. The television program was devoted to a discussion of the Senate trial of Bill Clinton and, in particular, the issue of whether witnesses should be called to testify. When host Larry King fielded questions from callers, the following exchange took place:

King: Daytona Beach, Florida. Hold on, let me get another call in. Daytona Beach, hello.

Caller: Yes, I just have a question as a concerned American citizen watching these [hearings] every single day. If the Republicans are going to call Monica Lewinsky, are the Democrats going to call the people we really want to see, Linda Tripp and Lucianne Goldberg, to testify to find out what happened here?

King: Senator Wellstone is that fair? They certainly would be logical witnesses, wouldn't they? On your side of the ledger?

Wellstone: They would be, but I don't want this to ...

King: What's wrong? It should get a lot of points for you. These are not the two most popular people in America.

Wellstone: That's right. And I appreciate what the caller is saying, but you know what? I'm not thrilled about saying: Well, if they bring in witnesses, then we bring in these other witnesses, because it becomes a spectacle. It goes on and on and on, the environment becomes more poisonous, and people in the country will be furious.

Wellstone is the great hope of left-liberal circles in the US. The Nation, for example, ran a cover story last year headlined, "President Wellstone? A Liberal Populist Considers a Run." The magazine called the Minnesota Democrat "America's most liberal--some would say radical--senator."

The exchange underscores a basic political reality: the primary goal of the Democratic Party, including its most "left" and liberal wing, is to conceal the dimensions and character of the ongoing conspiracy against democratic rights.

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