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President Clinton devoted his secondState of the Unionaddress tonight to a 100-minute plea to Congress to help "repair the damaged bonds of our society" through changes "in our economy, in our government and in ourselves." As the first Democrat since Harry Truman to face a Republican-controlled Congress, Clinton defended his record while accommodating his foes, emphasizing progress in deficit reduction, the creation of more than 5 million new jobs, and plans to cut a total of 250,000 government jobs by year's end. "Our job," said the President, "is to get rid of yesterday's government so that our own people can meet today's and tomorrow's needs." In place of the GOP "Contract With America," Clinton offered up his "Middle-Class Bill of Rights," which includes a middle-class tax cut and incentives for higher education. Over all, Clinton presented a cautious, scaled-down legislative agenda that was at best a shadow of the program he had laid out a year ago, all the while warning repeatedly against cutting the social programs that serve the neediest Americans.The speech, which his advisers billed as perhaps his last, best chance to revive his flagging presidency, was strangely dispirited. Clinton relied on a patchwork of lines from past speeches to claim the New Democrat mantle, calling for "a new covenant" stressing personal responsibility and a government that is "leaner, but not meaner." While praising GOP initiatives against unfunded mandates for the states, and for passing a bill holding Congress accountable for the laws they impose on private-sector employers, Clinton demanded significant campaign finance reform legislation. Barring that, he said that Congress does not need to pass a law in order to do the right thing: "Tonight I ask you to just stop taking the lobbyists' perks." The final challenge: a presidential proposal to raise the minimum wage to $5 an hour. "You can't make a living on $4.25 an hour," he told House and Senate members. "By the end of one month, every member of Congress will have made more than someone making the minimum wage makes all year long."