Lin I-hsiung (
"Since he has accomplished his goal of taking up the reins of the government and marginalizing the National Assembly, there is no other goal for him to struggle for [if he stays] in the position," said Lee Wang-tai (
"We all feel that Lin wants to leave at a good time," said Wu Nai-jen (
Lin entered the political stage as the DPP's chairman in 1998. However, it "was so hard in the beginning for him because he seemed not to mix well in the political pot," said Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟), head of the DPP's Survey Center. "Lin is more of an activist than a politician so we can not judge him by political logic."
Unlike former chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (
However, these characteristics helped Lin lead the party to victory in the election and smooth conflicts between party factions.
The nomination of Chen Shui-bian (
When the DPP planned to nominate Chen Shui-bian as the party's presidential candidate, there was a problem regarding nomination regulations, Lee said.
Party regulations forbid candidates like Chen from running in another crucial election within four years of leaving a post. Chen lost the Taipei City Mayoral elections at the end of 1998.
"But, because Chen was the best DPP candidate for the public, Lin gathered faction leaders to draw up a specific clause for the 2000 election to fit Chen's case," Lee said.
The election result proved Lin's judgement was right.
"Lin's ability to coordinate DPP factions originated from his prestige and his selflessness. Therefore, everyone must listen to him even if they disagree with him," Wu Nai-jen said.
Lee, who worked with Lin for almost two years at the DPP headquarters said, "Lin always sets a spiritual goal to lead him forward."
Lin, born in 1941, began his political career in 1977 as an Ilan county councilor. Two years later came the Kaohsiung Incident (
President Chen Sui-bian was one of their defense counsels.
The "Lin Family Murders" (
"Lin suffered most among those who were involved in the Incident. But he is a rarity because he is free of enmity, unlike others among the Formosa generation," Wu said.
Lin's experiences and practices brought him praise. Some people even considered him "a Puritan."
But, by contrast, his lifestyle is not exactly that of a puritan, friends say, pointing out Lin's love of smoking, drinking and playing mah-jong.
Chen Chun-lin said that at one time he planned to quit his leading position -- after a failure in the legislative election in 1998 -- and his friends played Mah-jong with him to comfort him.
Those who know Lin well, however, caution that he is a deep and complicated man, whose thoughts and actions are difficult to predict, said Chen, who was trained by the Tzu-lin (
Lin has said, "I don't want to be seen as an unusual man, I feel good as a normal person."
If Lin really does quit his job it will be because "he wants to live the way he likes," Wu said.
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