[EDITORIALS]Presidential aide’s misstepBlue House Chief of Staff Lee Byung-wan has sparked a controversy by his inappropriate words and behavior.
Mr. Lee recently gave a special lecture, under the title “Where the Roh Moo-hyun Government Stands,” at Chosun University in Gwangju, South Jeolla province.
In the lecture, he said, “The reason why the government is not popular and President Roh’s approval rating is low is because social forces that veto the Roh administration form the most significant influence in society.”
Mr. Lee continued to claim that extreme right-wingers have made an all-out mobilization effort to recapture power in the 2007 presidential election.
Mr. Lee’s lecture was mostly filled with crude criticism of the opposition parties and conservative groups.
What Mr. Lee said was hard to believe for a speech made by a presidential chief of staff, who counsels the president. It is a position that requires care so that the president receives correct information to help him make wise judgments and proper decisions.
When the president’s thoughts lose balance, it is a responsibility of his chief of staff to let the president meet people with different ideas, to regain balance.
Which is why the chief of staff must have extreme control over his own judgment of values. It is not an option but a must for the presidential chief of staff. In this regard, Mr. Lee’s words and behavior can only be described as wrong.
First, Mr. Lee should not have given the special lecture on a political topic at a university. Plus, Mr. Lee was wrong to denounce the opposition when an opposition party must be a counterpart in administrating state affairs.
In particular, it is unacceptable for Mr. Lee, the Blue House chief of staff, to have cited an unspecified majority of the people as adhering to conservatism. We wonder whether Mr. Lee forgot his position as the Blue House chief of staff.
Even if the president has such ideas, the presidential chief of staff must make efforts to restore a sense of balance. He must not shower college students with such words.
If the press coverage is right to say that Mr. Lee dared to make such a speech so as to collect anti-Grand National Party groups, it will only have a boomerang effect, instead of obtaining the expected results.
The reason why the Roh administration is not popular is not because of the veto influences but because of the incapacity of the government, followed by faulty policies.