IF THERE IS ONE thing President Clinton is getting plenty of this season, it's advice.

As Clinton stands in front of a Christmas tree in the diplomatic reception room with his wife, Hillary, to greet and be photographed with hundreds of guests at their White House Christmas parties, everyone seems to want to take a minute or two to tell him what to do.Few admonish him politically to his face; the Clintons' hospitality and the holiday spirit are not conducive to outright rudeness.

But they warn him loudly to "TAKE CARE" of yourself, as if he were planning to go mountain climbing in the Himalayas. Of course, that is code for "Don't do anything stupid" and "Get yourself organized."

Then they tell him urgently to "HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS" as if he had decided not to celebrate this year.

And, of course, they sternly suggest that he "REST UP." The implication is, "If you thought this year was bad, wait until 1995."

But what's unusual about this president and this year is that everybody seems to have an opinion on what he should do to make his big comeback, although few people think it's possible.

Incoming House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri thinks Clinton would be smart just to let House Democrats take the lead and do what they tell him, from their version of a middle-income tax cut plan on down.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the lonely voice on the left who doesn't deny he'd like to run for president again in 1996, says Clinton will lose his liberal supporters if he stops speaking up for their causes.

Ross Perot, who grabbed 19 percent of the voters in 1992 and helped George Bush lose his re-election, can't seem to say anything nice about Clinton anymore. His basic advice seems to be: "Go away."

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Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, who wants to be president, advises Clinton bluntly that "we (Republicans) have the winning hand here." He says Clinton should follow where the GOP leads, especially on doubling the $2,500 per child tax deduction.

David Gergen, the Republican who was brought in a year ago last July to re-invent the Clinton administration, now says as he leaves that the American people don't know who Clinton is and that he must tell them again, even though he's been in office two years.

Former President Jimmy Carter says Clinton should just leave foreign policy to him. From North Korea to Haiti and now Bosnia, Carter has zipped in at the last minute to deal with the leader branded the bad guy by the White House.

Two years ago, Americans were desperately eager for Clinton to succeed. Now they identify him with big, ineffective government that doesn't keep its promises.

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