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Quiet Birthday For Clinton

The president's friends and advisors hope that he will remain completely out of sight for several days, reports CBS News White House Correspondent Bill Plante. They want people to get the impression that the Clintons have had time to work things out.

After that, staffers are pushing the president to interrupt his vacation for a couple of public appearances - an effort to change the subject. The president is refusing to do so, at least until next week.

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It was Mr. Clinton's 52nd birthday Wednesday, but spokesman Mike McCurry had few details of the president's day. The president had breakfast with his family, a walk, and birthday phone calls from members of his family.

There was even less information about the president's state of mind.

Had he heard the calls for his resignation? "..the president is confident he enjoys the trust of the American people who elected him," said McCurry.

Wednesday evening, the Clinton family was preparing to go to dinner at the home of Vernon and Ann Jordan, with no other guests. Sources tell CBS News that Jordan wanted to throw the president a big birthday bash. However, Mr. Clinton agreed with aides who thought that probably wasn't a great idea.

When Mr. Clinton does reappear, the White House spin will be that he's suffered enough and should be allowed to get on with the nation's business.

Asked how the president's "repair work" is going, his spokesman called that "a private matter." Meanwhile, everyone around the president is waiting for the public's verdict.

Reported by Bill Plante
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