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Clinton is tired of talk about "Clinton fatigue"

February 11, 2000
Web posted at: 3:21 p.m. EST (2021 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least one person is tired of "Clinton fatigue" -- President Clinton himself, who tried Friday to laugh off a question about whether the voters are sick of him after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"Well, I get tired from time to time," the president told reporters with a laugh when asked if the phenomenon might keep him from campaigning for fellow Democrats this year. "That's the only one I'm familiar with."

Clinton has all but ceased actively campaigning for Vice President Al Gore to succeed him as opinion polls have shown a majority of Americans are tired of the scandals under his administration and that they are a drag on Gore's campaign.

When his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, formally announced her run for a U.S. Senate from New York Sunday, Clinton sat on stage with her nodding and smiling but not saying a word.

The term "Clinton fatigue" entered the U.S. political dictionary during the Lewinsky scandal when Clinton's lying about his affair with the former White House intern led to his impeachment in December 1998. He was acquitted by the Senate two months later, leaving him in office.

After trying to make light of the matter, Clinton told reporters during an event to honor former White House Press Secretary James Brady that he had more requests to speak for Democrats around the country than he could make.

The president also played down his role, saying there was never too much that an outsider could do to help candidates, who sank or swam on their own merits.

"I'll do what I can to help the people and the causes I believe in, but I don't want to get in the way," Clinton said. "The ability of any outsider to affect in a positive way the course of an election is far more limited than is generally supposed."

Clinton's fund-raising and speeches around the country in part aim to help the Democrats in their quest to retake the House of Representatives, which they lost to the Republicans during the 1994 mid-term election.

The president also happily told the story of his 1984 reelection as governor of Arkansas, noting that then-President Ronald Reagan campaigned in the state for Clinton's opponent.

"On election day, he (Reagan) got 62 percent of the vote and so did I," Clinton said. "So .. you've got to be humble in these things and just sort of show up for work every day."

That was a line that Clinton used often during the Lewinsky scandal, when he insisted that he would come to work and do the people's business until his term ran out Jan. 20, 2001.

Reuters news material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.


Friday, February 11, 2000


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