Clinton: Calling All Dems

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WASHINGTON: It's the quiet before the impeachment storm. But make no mistake: Capitol Hill is a hive of activity in advance of Thursday's House vote on a full, Watergate-style inquiry. Top Democrats are pushing hard for a limited Lewinsky probe, but their support is hemorrhaging fast: Reps. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) both estimate a hefty 60 Democratic defectors to the GOP proposal. That's not surprising, given the number of Dems in swing districts who might be fatally wounded at the polls next month if they appear to be soft on impeachment. Party leaders can do nothing to stem the flow, says Kanjorksi: They "recognize it's an individual conscience vote."

Special Report And it may get worse before it gets better. The very man who put Democrats in this tight spot -- President Clinton -- was speed-dialing the Hill late Tuesday looking for support. New press spokesman Joe Lockhart denied the White House was issuing "instructions," but plenty of loyal party members look on a Clinton call as the kiss of death. Luckily for them, the First Lady is working the phones, too. Could Hillary help prevent an embarrassingly large GOP victory -- and bail her husband out of trouble one more time?