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Jan. 23, 1997


Let the substance quickly follow

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William J. Clinton, so often adept at connecting with his fellow
citizens, offered a passion-light, minimalist plan for the future (Jan.
20). Perhaps that is fitting for a President always trying to strike a
balance between left and right, Democrat and Republican, confrontation
and capitulation, and between soaring rhetoric and pointless platitudes.

... Mr. Clinton is supposed to offer more policy details in his State of
the Union message; let us hope so, because the nation needs more
leadership on critical issues than it was given yesterday.

... Inaugurations are symbolic moments. Bill Clinton has always been
good at symbols. For the sake of the nation, let the substance quickly
--The Philadelphia Inquirer


Loan repayment caps foreign policy success

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Mexico's final repayment of a $13.5 billion loan from the U.S.
government caps a first-rate foreign policy success for President

Clinton officials arranged the loan two years ago to underwrite Mexico's
peso to avert a financial collapse. The action under the president's own
discretion came after Congress showed a general, bipartisan failure of
will to enact a $40 billion loan-guarantee package ...

Despite the loan's success, controversy over its merit continues -
largely wrapped up in the continuing dispute over the North American
Free Trade Agreement and Mexico's big trade surplus with the United

This particular action, however, was not so much about free trade as it
was about international action to prevent an important nation's
financial collapse and to keep problems from spreading to other
economies. And an improving economy should provide more customers for
U.S. products. ...

--The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.
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