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 TIME CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics with Congressional Quarterly

On to the Senate

By Richard Lacayo

December 21, 1998
Web posted at: 2:55 p.m. EST (1955 GMT)

TIME magazine

A trial of the President will land in a chamber known for slowing things down--for being more deliberative and dispassionate than the House. It's a place full of big egos and individualism where opinions don't always break down along party lines. This could be good--and bad--for Clinton

The majority leader and his lieutenant

Worried that a lengthy trial would paralyze the Senate, majority leader TRENT LOTT, above, wanted to avoid one, perhaps by negotiating a compromise with the White House on a censure resolution. But under pressure from conservatives not to short-circuit the process, he promised last week, "We will go to a trial; there won't be any dealmaking." Lott's ally, Kentucky's MITCH MCCONNELL, left, will oversee the proceeding as Rules Committee chairman. He too has been put on notice by right-leaning members not to do Clinton any favors.

The moderate Republicans

In the dwindling ranks of G.O.P. centrists who might oppose conviction, JOHN CHAFEE of Rhode Island, top left, and JIM JEFFORDS of Vermont, top right, have been crossover allies of the President. Jeffords supported health-care reform, and Chafee is an environmentalist. Both are eyed with suspicion by conservatives, who want them stripped of their committee chairmanships. Maine's freshman Senators, SUSAN COLLINS and OLYMPIA SNOWE, are also outcasts; both are pro-choice. Their views of the case against Clinton will be critical.

The free-spirit Democrats
Bearers of bad news

The four Democrats to watch for signs of trouble for Clinton are ROBERT BYRD of West Virginia, top left, who opposes attempts to bypass a trial as unconstitutional; JOE LIEBERMAN of Connecticut, far left, who rebuked the President in September; PAT MOYNIHAN of New York, left, who is always immune to partisan entreaties; BOB KERREY of Nebraska, bottom left, who once called Clinton "an unusually good liar." If Democrats decide Clinton should resign, the job of telling him will fall to such allies as minority leader TOM DASCHLE of South Dakota, top center; Hillary pal JAY ROCKEFELLER of West Virginia, top right; and TED KENNEDY of Massachusetts.

Clinton foes
Clinton defenders

If the Senate trial degenerates into a partisan brawl, the White House will rely on two former House Democrats to fight for the President. New Jersey's ROBERT TORRICELLI, far left, who partly owes his Senate victory in 1996 to the President, will prove his loyalty--and his desire to be Al Gore's Vice President. New York's CHARLES SCHUMER, left, defended Clinton in the House Judiciary Committee and will reprise that role when he moves to the Senate in January. He and Torricelli will clash with the G.O.P.'s anti-Clinton caucus, led by RICK SANTORUM of Pennsylvania, far left, and DON NICKLES of Oklahoma, left. A favorite of the Christian right, Nickles will watch Trent Lott for signs of premature compromise. Nickles and Santorum represent the younger, more ideological breed of Senate Republican.

The Mysterious Incoming Senators

New faces will include, from left, Democrats JOHN EDWARDS of North Carolina and EVAN BAYH of Indiana, moderates with a tenuous allegiance to Clinton. Ohio's GEORGE VOINOVICH is a moderate too, but Republican.


MORE TIME STORIES:

Cover Date: December 28, 1998

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