LABJ Forum: What Did the White House Know?

While President Bush's approval rating still looks cushy, the continuing saga of Enron must be causing some unease. Polls show that many Americans, even Republicans, believe that the White House is not disclosing some of its dealings with the energy company, which was a major contributor to the Bush campaign. So the Business Journal asks:

Do you think the Bush administration is hiding anything about its dealings with Enron?

Daphna Ziman
Children Uniting Nations

It really doesn't matter what I think. What matters right now is that even though Bush has such a high approval rating, most Americans are questioning why the White House is not revealing everything. I think, sometimes perception becomes reality. The White House should be aware that the perception that they are hiding is something could easily become a reality, unless they reveal everything.

Craig Crawford
Senior Copywriter
Team One Advertising

I don't believe we'll ever really know the full story, as with most things involving conflicting interests. There are probably a lot of bad things we'll never know, but there are also probably a lot of good things we'll never know. Where there is smoke there's fire, that's the old story. So if there seems to be something else going on, then there probably is.

Bruce DeJong
Vice President

I don't think they're being as forthright as they could be. Based on the news that's coming out. The best thing (the Bush Administration) can do is disclose everything they know and if there's something they need to apologize for, they should be forthright and apologize.

Bob Kleist
Corporate Advisor
Evergreen America Corp.

It certainly seems they're not telling everybody everything. Does that say they're hiding something? I don't know. But I respect the position of the president and cabinet members to have the need to, periodically at least, discuss something in confidence.

Julie Bandini
Senior Associate
Johnson Fain Partners

I think that because of the relationship between Ken Lay and the Bush family, it's possible they're covering something up. But it's too early to know, and I'm looking forward to a thorough investigation. I don't think there's anything wrong with them having internal meetings if they're trying to figure things out, though. It's all going to come out eventually.

Andrew Ratner
Executive Managing Director
Cushman & Wakefield

My general impression is that there were certainly close relationships between members of the White House and Enron, but I don't think (the Bush Administration) is reckless enough to hide anything material. No, I don't think they're hiding anything.

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