The president was judged to have "won" the tussle. Republicans took a drubbing in the polls and ended up accepting most of Clinton's conditions in a compromise that seemed more like crying uncle.
But faith in government may have been the biggest loser.
A footnote: On the January day that missing workers were scheduled to finally return to their posts, the Northeast was just starting to dig out from an extreme blizzard.
After weeks of insisting it was vital to get government back to work quickly, Clinton decided to keep Washington closed another four days.