If the instapolls are to be believed, the American people gave a very cautious thumbs-up to a very cautious speech. In an overnight poll from CNN, 53 percent claimed to be satisfied with the President's remarks. His job approval rating remained steady at 62 percent. Straw polls from the terrestrial networks offered similar figures. As always with Clinton, however, there were contradictions: An ABC poll had 68 percent saying he should not resign, even though 52 percent believed he did obstruct justice -- the only offense for which he could reasonably be impeached.
Clinton's practiced reticence was one thing that worked against him -- two-thirds of those polled said he should have come forward earlier. But his long-time love affair with the camera, at least, is still intact: People were 10 percent more likely to believe the President's account if they watched it on television. So that makes two Kennedyesque traits Clinton has inherited.