Clinton Urges Democratic Unity

BOSTON--President Bill Clinton urged his Democratic supporters to fight the past and regain control of the House of Representatives in an emotional speech last night at the Park Plaza Hotel.

Clinton did not mention the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which many believe will crush his party's chances of re-taking the people's house.

The president noted that no second-term president since the Civil War saw his party gain seats in the sixth year of his term.

"I believe we can beat one hundred years of history if we are on the side of the future," he said.

In what sounded at times like a classic Clinton stump speech, the president listed the ways in which his current policies on health care reform, education and social security privatization are benefiting the American people.


Then, sounding a communitarian theme, Clinton spoke of the Democratic party as having a "vision" for the nation's children--a vision that could only come to pass if Democrats are elected in droves.

He said many Americans may feel the times are good, too good to shake up Washington.

"So now we're free to look to the future, and you have to tell voters our enemy is not adversity here; our enemy is complacence," he said.

The president is in the midst of a two-day fundraising tour that took him to Cincinnati before his stop in Boston.

The House Judiciary Committee is poised to release Clinton's videotaped testimony before Kenneth W. Starr's Grand Jury. In it, according to published reports, the commander-in-chief loses his temper, and even stomps out of the room.

And the more serious issue about whether the Senate will begin an impeachment trial continues to vex the White House.

These questions are in no way tangential to the upcoming general election.

Privately, Democrats have said they no longer expect to regain a majority in the House.

Publicly, at least, Democratic leaders are singing a different tune.

"We're going to do a lot better than the polls predict," said Steve Grossman, the chair of the Democratic National Committee in an interview.

Candidates, once eager to campaign with the commander-in-chief, are shunning him.

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