That Sinking Feeling

Is Clinton up to the job? As a staff shake-up begins and his four-month approval ratings dip to record lows, Americans are starting to wonder +

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Clinton will hit the road again, trying to concentrate more on selling his program and less on everything else. Senior officials have discussed ways to nudge the President to the right in the coming weeks, such as by nominating a moderate Supreme Court Justice, dropping the controversial and probably doomed nomination of Lani Guinier to be Assistant Attorney General for civil rights and perhaps even suggesting additional budget cuts. There is also talk of "doing what it takes" to circumvent Clinton's vaunted 25% cut in White House staff. "You have to make adjustments where you can," said one official.

But there is little evidence that Clinton will go along with such steps. If he fails to adjust quickly, he will confirm the widespread belief that the biggest problem with the Clinton presidency is Clinton himself. Unless he can, as he likes to say, make change his friend, he is in for a decidedly unfriendly 3 1/2 years.

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