Clinton stays busy, public
Polls give president high approval rating

Chicago Tribune and The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON — With poll after poll showing the majority of Americans do not want President Clinton removed from office, the White House Monday pursued a multitrack strategy combining imagery and legal options aimed at saving the impeached president's job.

Mr. Clinton, on the first business day after the impeachment vote, visited a soup kitchen with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then attended a solemn 10th anniversary remembrance for the victims of Pan Am Flight 103.

Mr. Clinton intends to keep a busy and public schedule in the days and weeks ahead to put to rest any rumors that he is depressed or hunkering down in his bunker. He also demonstrated Monday that he can still get a laugh.

At the soup kitchen, Mr. Clinton said: “I think I can't leave the microphone without saying that in 1993, in January, D.C. Central Kitchen baked 28,000 saxophone-shaped butter almond cookies for my first inaugural. And it's about time I came here to pay them back.”

Highest job approval

President Clinton is enjoying some of the highest job approval ratings of his six years in office. Four surveys taken after the House of Representatives impeached Clinton on Saturday showed jumps in the public's opinion of Clinton's job performance. At the same time, support for the Republican Party plummeted.

One poll, a CBS News-New York Timessurvey completed Sunday, gave the president a 73 percent job approval rating. That was up 5 percentage points from the week before and tied the all-time high from last January, just days after the public first learned of his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

The same survey showed Republicans with their worst popularity ratings in the 14 years that CBS News and The New York Timeshave asked the question. Only 36 percent expressed a favorable view of the GOP, while 59 percent expressed an unfavorable one.

Like the CBS News-New York Timespoll, a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll conducted Saturday and Sunday showed a 9 percentage point increase in Mr. Clinton's job approval rating — from 64 percent a week ago to 73 percent.

An ABC News-Washington Postpoll showed Mr. Clinton with a job approval rating of 67 percent, up three percent from a week earlier. A fourth poll, conducted by NBC immediately after the impeachment votes, found that 72 percent approved Mr. Clinton's handling of the presidency. A similar poll last Tuesday reported a 68 percent approval rating.

The poll of 1,341 adults carried a 3 percentage-point margin of error. The CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll surveyed 852 adults and had a margin of error of 4 percentage points. ABC News and The Washington Postpolled 1,285 adults and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

NBC News polled 510 adults and carried a 4.5 percentage-point margin of error.

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