Clinton is tired of talk about "Clinton fatigue"
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
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.
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