JEFFERSON CITY - Top officials in Missouri's state government say they have better things to do than watch the play-by-play coverage of President Clinton's impeachment hearings in Washington.
Clinton faces four articles of impeachment stemming from his sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. The hearings are scheduled for full House debate Thursday. ****CHECK CHECK CHECK - impeaching could be postponed because of Iraq - could hold story maybe???********
But some state government officials, including Lt. Gov. Roger Wilson, have adopted a blase attitude about the coverage the hearings would attract.
"I think a lot of people are fatigued by the process," said Wilson, who plans to keep tabs on the Clinton issue through the following day's newspaper reports. "I may see some of the coverage only if happens coincidentally."
House Republican Leader Delbert Scott, managing his family-owned hardware and furnishing business in Lowry City Wednesday, was - like Wilson - not enticed by the prospect of watching Clinton squirm under the glare of the national spotlight for an entire day.
Although Scott said the event would be an historical landmark, he maintained responsible citizens should continue with their everyday lives and jobs instead of falling prey to the media's Clinton coverage.
"I will not be watching the hearing," Scott said. "I have a real life and tomorrow I will be working to make an honest living. The Clinton hearings are not the centerpiece of my life. Even though I hope they impeach him, the world is not going to come to an end if he is impeached."
In accordance with Wilson and Scott's views, spokespersons from Gov. Mel Carnahan, Attorney General Jay Nixon and State Treasurer Bob Holden's offices said the state leaders would be tailoring their focus more toward Missouri-related issues and their normal agendas rather than Clinton's hearings.
"I don't have any indication that he'll be watching," said Scott Holste from the attorney general's office. "He'll be concentrating on Missouri."
Representatives from the secretary of state and state auditor's office could not be reached for comment.