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Clinton Rests, Skis at Presidential Retreat With AM-State of the Union, Bjt

January 24, 1994

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Worn thin by a hectic start to the new year, President Clinton played pinball and went cross-country skiing during a rare weekend getaway to Camp David.

″I didn’t set any Nordic records yesterday cross-country skiing but we had a wonderful time,″ Clinton said with a laugh Sunday.

He made the remark in a telephone call to C-SPAN from the presidential retreat. Two old Arkansas friends, Skip Rutherford and David Leopolous, were in Hot Springs, Ark., talking with the public affairs network about Clinton. The president joked that he was checking up on his buddies.

Clinton, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, left for the 143-acre compound Friday. They were joined by other Arkansas friends Jim and Diane Blair and Vic and Susan Fleming.

″We’re having an Arkansas reunion at Camp David,″ Clinton said Sunday.

The president played pinball and went skiing with his wife and daughter Saturday, and attended church Sunday morning.

The Clintons returned to the White House Sunday night. It was only his fifth visit to the retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains.

The trip came after a particularly demanding two weeks.

Clinton’s mother, Virginia Kelley, died Jan. 6, and he left for an eight- day trip through six European nations the same day as her funeral.

He returned home late Jan. 16 and three days later, made a daylong trip to Los Angeles to survey earthquake damage. Last Tuesday’s withdrawal of Bobby Ray Inman saddled him with the search for a new nominee for defense secretary, and he is preparing to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers said last week that Clinton was upbeat, ″but I think it’s been a grueling couple of weeks for him.″

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