'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the House,

The Democrats were cowering and the president was a mouse.Their party had been hung by the voters with care,

In hopes that their wallets would soon be less bare.

The Republicans were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of power plums danced in their heads.

And Hillary in her kerchief, and Bill in his cap,

Had just settled their brains for a long winter's flap.

When at both ends of the Mall there arose such a clatter,

CNN went live to see what was the matter.

Away to the cameras they flew like a flash

Newt and Bill were starring on "America, Here's Cash!"

The thumping of breasts in the new-rising show

Gave the luster of bluster to voters below.

When what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But miniature tax cuts pledged for next year.

Now President Clinton, so lively and quick,

Assured everyone listening that his was no trick.

More rapid than eagles, Newt's curses they came,

And he whistled and shouted and called Bill some names:

"Now McGovernik! Now Socialist!

Now Radical and Blarney!

On, Thurmond! On, Helms!

On Walker and Armey!

To the top of dome!

Shout down every hall!

Clinton's not normal!

Not normal at all!"

As mouths that after the wild flourish dry,

When they meet awesome deficits, piled to the sky,

So up to the housetops the promises flew,

Because Clinton had rediscovered 1992.

And then, in a twinkling, Newt hit the roof,

Prancing and retracting after each little goof.

As he drew in his head and was turning around,

Down on him the media came with a bound.

The speaker was cuffed, from his head to his foot,

And his rep was all tarnished with mud and with soot.

A bundle of bombs he had flung from his pack.

His targets, knives sharpened, were getting him back.

But Newt's eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!

Nothing would hold him from being contrary!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

His menu for Democrats was heavy on crow.

The stump of his power Bill held tight in his teeth,

High negatives encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly

But jogging, not donuts, was shown on the telly.

A bit chubby and plump, not his jolly old self,

Bill worried: "Newt wants the New Deal on a shelf."

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Old Bill, he moved center, and would veto Newt dead.

Clinton spoke not a word - only 1,000 - and went straight to his work,

He'd make government shrivel and give it a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, there was absolutely no movement in the polls, despite all of his accomplishments like NAFTA and GATT and the Family Leave Act and a drop in unemployment figures and increased housing starts and how about Haiti and didn't things go well facing off Iraq and . . . Ahem.

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Clinton sprang to his desk, to his team gave a whistle,

They could spin despite gunfire, crashed planes or a missile.

And we heard him exclaim, ere he dove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and next year, a good fight!"

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