“Impeachment is by design a last-ditch tool for dealing with a presidency gone terribly wrong, so it naturally involves a certain amount of bitterness and sadness. Yet the Nixon and Clinton impeachment efforts had the nation glued to TV sets. The Trump matter has proved to be a much less powerful magnet.
The House vote on Clinton in 1998 was a TV ratings bonanza. CNN recorded its highest numbers since the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building three years earlier, and Fox News, then the laggard among the three cable news outlets, scored its highest ratings since the channel debuted in 1996. On CBS, news anchor Dan Rather interrupted a Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game nine times to update his audience on the progress of the House votes.
The ratings for this fall’s congressional hearings have been healthy but far from record-setting. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll found that 62 percent of Americans said they were closely following this impeachment story, a sharp drop from the 82 percent who said they closely followed Clinton’s impeachment.
At the other end of the spectrum, 18 percent say they are not following Trump’s impeachment too closely and 20 percent say they are not following it at all. In 1998, only 5 percent reported paying no attention.”
The U.S. House impeachedDonald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The first article was approved by a vote of 230-197 and the second 229-198. All Republicans and two Democrats voted against both articles. One Democrat, Jared Golden (Maine), voted for abuse of power and against obstruction of Congress. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) voted present on both articles. Trump spoke at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.