Clinton's Good News Policy

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: "Americans will forgive the President on a lot of violations, including campaign finance mistakes, if he acts like a President and actually accomplishes things that matter to them," says TIME's Jef McAllister. Betting on that assumption, President Clinton is continuing what has been a highly successful strategy of unveiling small initiatives to take the news spotlight away from campaign finance investigations. Friday's example: A call for Congress to ratify the chemical weapons accord and grant him a "fast-track" negotiating authority to expand free trade to more Latin American countries. Up next, Clinton will announce on his Saturday morning radio show that he is extending the new family leave provisions to federal employees so they also can take time off from work for their children's school conferences and medical appointments. And on Monday, he will unveil a joint agreement with the U.S. clothing industry to crack down on abusive labor practices in poor countries, according to the Washington Post. So far, the strategy seems to be working: recent polls have indicated that less than 4 percent of Americans rank getting to the bottom of possible campaign finance irregularities as the central issue inside the beltway.