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VACATION NOTEBOOK: Clinton in Golf Cart Demolition Derby?

August 27, 1993

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) _ President Clinton turned on his protectors Friday. Actually, he didn’t turn. He backed straight into them.

Clinton, driving a golf cart with friend Vernon Jordan at his side, had pulled up briefly in front of the clubhouse. When he got back in, he threw the cart into reverse and backed up, striking a cart carrying Secret Service agents. It was a light bump, sort of like one would get in those bumper cars at the county fair.

Hillary Rodham Clinton joined her husband on the 18th hole and took a few shots, drawing cheers from the crowd.

″What do I hit it with,″ she asked Mink Meadows golf pro Tim Spring.

A proud husband beamed later about his wife’s performance. ″She hadn’t hit a ball in 13 or 14 years. He (Spring) did a pretty good job for her,″ he said. ---

Martha’s Vineyard is not exactly a hotbed of Republicanism, but the GOP seemed as pleased as Democrats to have the president visit this resort island.

″I can’t remember when was the last time a Republican presidential candidate carried the island,″ said Bette Carroll, 70, a lifelong Republican.

She said that although she didn’t particularly agree with Clinton’s politics, ″I just feel like, if he’s going to vacation somewhere, he might as well spend it here.″

Carroll, who is a Republican registrar, actually waited several hours Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Clinton as he returned to shore from a yachting trip with former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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Reporters from the local newspapers are particularly persistent in asking about whether the Clintons plan to purchase a vacation home here.

Asked after his golf game Friday whether he was looking at real estate on the island, Clinton replied, ″No, but I would like to do it. I don’t know if I can afford to do it.″

Clinton, a president of relatively modest means, was asked whether he thought the property on Martha’s Vineyard was too pricey. ″I don’t even know what they cost,″ he said. ″I just think it’s a beautiful place. It’s a really wonderful place. ... I wish I had about another week to stay. I’m a little spoiled now.″

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