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DOMESTIC POLICY GOES ON THE BACK BURNER

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Have you noticed lately how President Clinton, a self-styled domestic policy wonk, seems to be spending most of his time on foreign policy instead?

In the past two months, Clinton has traveled throughout the Middle East, to Indonesia in the Far East and last week to a big European security conference in Budapest, Hungary. And when he wasn't flying off to the other side of the planet, he was usually at home dealing with a crisis in Haiti, Cuba, North Korea, Bosnia or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.During this whole time, we hardly heard a word out of the White House about health care, welfare reform or any other domestic problem. A notable exception was a chance remark about prayer in public schools which - except for a vocal minority - isn't exactly a front-burner issue.

One explanation for all this is that after his health care plan went down in flames, Clinton and his fellow Democrats figured they had to lay low. And who knows, maybe looking good on foreign policy stuff might help out in the 1996 election.