Convinced that the economy and issues are on their side, President Clinton and Senate Democrats huddled Saturday for the second time in three days to plot an elections game plan.
He later flew to Boston for the latest installment of the intense fund-raising drive that he hopes will ensure congressional Democrats a competitive footing in November.The $700,000 that he was raising over a lobster dinner with some 90 donors adds to the nearly $2 million he picked up for Democrats last weekend in California.
Earlier Saturday, Clinton met with Democratic senators for about 80 minutes in a Kingsmill Resort conference room just off the greens in Virginia's Tidewater region. He hastily retired to the first tee with six lawmakers.
Despite dark skies and a consistent drizzle, Clinton managed 18 holes with Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Joe Biden of Delaware and Chuck Robb of Virginia.
White House political adviser Doug Sosnik, who sat in on the politicians' work group, called it an upbeat session where they agreed to try and focus the remainder of this Congress on winning support for Clinton's education, health care, anti-tobacco and child care initiatives.
"It was primarily centered on the unified message, priorities and also his reiterating to them a commitment to work with them - not only on legislation in the next six months but also to help Democrats in November," Sosnik said.
Clinton and Democratic leaders from both the House and the Senate met at the White House on Thursday to agree to a homestretch legislative agenda and fund-raising drive. They pronounced themselves bouyed by the economy's strong performance.
Clinton committed then to raising between $18 million and $20 million between August and November. Saturday night's event did not figure in that tally.
The $5,000-per person dinner was in Boston's wealthy Chestnut Hill suburb at the home of Elaine and Gerald Schuster, a real estate magnate. The couple are Democratic party activists who have played host to several high-profile fund-raisers.