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Clinton Wraps Up Arkansas Trip

President Clinton arrived in Louisiana on Sunday after a weekend visit to his home state of Arkansas.

The president was scheduled to talk Monday in New Orleans to the American Federation of Teachers and to attend another party fund-raising event.

Mr. Clinton's visit included golf games with friends, Democratic fund-raisers, church and a Sunday brunch at the home of former presidential adviser Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty.

The president left on Air Force One at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville. He posed for pictures with presidential adviser Bruce Lindsey and Lindsey's two daughters and son, then shook hands with a couple of Air Force officers before boarding the plane with Lindsey.

For the trip to Louisiana, Mr. Clinton ordered a hot tamale spread from McClard's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Hot Springs, where he grew up. He also took with him a couple of watermelons, which were loaded onto the plane, along with the president's golf clubs and luggage.

Before his departure, President Clinton heard a sermon at his Little Rock church on leaving a legacy of being devoted to God.

The president joined his step-father, Dick Kelley, for the hour-long service at Immanuel Baptist Church, where he attended while governor.

From the service, the president's motorcade traveled to the Pulaski Heights neighborhood of Dorothy Rodham, his mother-in-law with whom he stayed during the weekend. A visit with longtime friend McLarty followed.

On Saturday, President Clinton bashed the Republican-controlled Congress for opposing "our whole agenda."

"It's unbelievable," an animated Mr. Clinton said Saturday about GOP efforts to stop his program for putting 100,000 additional police officers on the streets even as the national crime rates fall.

Appearing at a morning meeting of the Arkansas State Democratic Committee, Mr. Clinton said Democrats need to find not just good candidates but candidates with good ideas. He cited examples of changes his administration has fought for against Republican opposition since 1993.

He ticked off a list of other issues that have drawn partisan opposition, including his administration's environmental priorities and its proposal for a health care patient's bill of rights.

"By and large, our whole agenda is being opposed by the leaders of the other party," Mr. Clinton said.

Among those in the president's audience were Bill Bristow, Democratic candidate for governor, and Blanche Lincoln, the former U.S. congresswoman who is running for the Senate seat of retiring Democrat Dale Bumpers. Mr. Clinton attended a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dinner Saturday night to raise money for Lincoln.

Among the targets of Mr. Clinton's political jabs was Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., whom the president said had "jerked away" federal funds that had been sought for a highway project in southern Arkansas.

President Clinton said that wouldn't have happened if Democrats were in charge of Congress. "I say that because, what the heck, I never get to be partisan, and it's nice to be home," he said.

Written by Robert Burns