Monitor: American reaction to their 1998 mid-term elections

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The Independent Culture
UNLIKE THE Republican sweep of four years ago, this was a typical midterm election - people tended to respond to the candidates themselves and to issues that seemed important locally, rather than to national imperatives.

The New York Times

THE VOTERS sent the message that they don't want Clinton to have a Democratic majority in Congress. And they don't want the Republicans to have super majorities. Instead, the onus is on officeholders to find compromise solutions to the nation's problems. That won't be easy. But those who are able to deliver on a centrist program, meeting the public where it is, not where the ideologues want it to be, will be those best positioned to deserve the voters' reward in 2000.

USA Today

THE REPUBLICANS thought they'd ride on their laurels as incumbents. The congressional leadership counted on Clinton defeating himself for a year, and wasted time. This is a dangerous man in the White House. So the election was lost because of Republican ineptitude, while Democrats played dirty politics but very skillfully. It will be sobering for the leadership. (David Horowitz)

Salon Magazine

THE REPUBLICAN strategy of making the election something of a referendum on Clinton clearly backfired. And it should cause GOP House leaders some concern about how they should conduct the impeachment hearings. But the President should not read these results as some sort of verdict by the voters on how they view his actions that led to the scandal. They still rightly condemn his behavior.

Los Angeles Times

THE VOTERS voted in greater numbers and with greater independence than predicted. Now it looks as though the Gingrich-Lott combine will be forced to play defence. This overturns the virtually unanimous media line that Clinton was not only a lame duck, but a dead duck, with impeachment or resignation his likeliest options. That's over. Clinton emerges strengthened, if not emboldened.

Boston Globe